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, . • * • 




BY ^ 



vol/. I. 



Printed for the Author, and sold by Messrs. Murray, Albemarle Street ; 
RiDOWAY & Sons, 169, Piccadilly; J. Hatchard & Son, 181, Pic- 
cadilly; James Nisbett & Co., 21, Bemers Street; Hamilton & 
Adam, 33, Paternoster Row; and Wilczewski & Co., 116, Jermyn 
Street. ■ 




Printed lif J. L. Cox and Sows, 1i, Chmit QnMD SCneC^ 
LinadnVIim Fields. 












The rapid J)rogress and equally speedy decline of the 
Reformation in Poland presents to the Protestant reader a 
melancholy, but at the same time an instructive picture* 
The Protestant cause attained in that country in the 
course of half a century such a degree of Strength, that its 
final triumph over Romanism seemed to be quitie certain. 
Yet, notwithstanding this advantageous position, it was 
overthrown and nearly destroyed in the course of an- 
other half century. This extraordinary reaction was not 
effected by the strong hand of a legally constituted au- 
thority, as was the case in Italy, Spain^ abd some other 
countries; but by a bigotted and unprincipled faction, 
acting not with the assistance, but in opposition to the laws 
of the country. Such an event is perhaps unparalleled in 
the annals of the religious world, and is the more remark- 
able, as the free institutions of Poland^ which had greatly 
facilitated the progress of the Reformation, were afterwards 
rendered subservient to the persecution of its disciples. 
The Jesuits, who defended in that country the interests of 
Rome, being unable to conobat their antagonists with fire 
and sword, adopted other measures, which inflicted on 


Poland more severe calamities than those which might 
have been produced by bloody conflicts between religious 
parties. As the laws of the country did not allow any 
inhabitant of Poland to be persecuted on account of his 
religious opinions, they left no means untried in order 
to evade those salutary laws ; and the odious maxim that no 
faith should be kept with heretics (htsreticis not est ser- 
vanda Jides) was constantly advocated by them, as well 
as by other champions of Romanism in our country. But 
the most invariable and lamentably successful line of 
policy pursued by the Jesuits in Poland, was to agitate the 
lower classes, by means of the confessional and the pulpit, 
and to insure, by their intrigues with the higher ranks of 
society, an impunity to the excesses which an infuriated 
mob committed at their instigation against the anti-Roma- 
nists. Thus, many Protestant churches and schools were 
destroyed by riots excited by the Jesuits, and directed by 
the pupils of their colleges; whilst the proceedings in- 
stituted by the legal authorities, in order to punish those 
excesses, were rendered nugatory by the influence of their 
order, whose members publicly eulogized those acts of 
violence committed in an open breach of the laws of the 
country. The long reign (1587-1631) of the weak-minded 
and bigotted king Sigismund the Third was particularly 
favourable to the promotion of their schemes; and that 
infatuated monarch, who was entirely governed by their 
advice, had no other object in view than the destruction of 
all the opponents of Rome, and the establishment of an 
undivided papal domination in his states. He attained in a 
great measure the object of his wishes, but at the sacrifice of 
the most vital interests of the country. The Jesuits gained 
during that reign a paramount influence over the afiairs of 
Poland, and although the pernicious efiects of that influence 
were counterbalanced for some time by the efibrts of the 


Zamoyskis, the Chodkiewiczs, the Zolkiewskis, and other 
eminent characters, who appeared in Poland during that 
period, it finally produced the most fatal consequences to 
that country. Such were the rebellion of the numerous 
parties which followed the Eastern church, internal feuds, 
foreign invasion, and the loss of many important provinces. 
Yet these calamities, great as they were, may^be considered 
as less disastrous than the moral effects produced by the 
withering sway which the disciples of Loyola exercised for 
more than a century over the national mind. They clearly 
saw that the surest means of extirpating scriptural doctrines 
was to fetter the national intellect, by means of a pre- 
posterous system of education ; and they consequently 
introduced such a system into the public schools of Poland, 
which were for a long time almost exclusively conducted by 
them. This measure produced its natural consequences : 
science and literature were almost annihilated; and 
Poland, which had made rapid strides in every kind of 
improvement during the sixteenth century, instead of ad- 
vancing, retrograded with equal rapidity. It was at such a 
price that Romanism was saved in Poland, and no country 
in the world affords, perhaps, a more striking illustra- 
tion of the blessings which a political community derives 
from the introduction of a scriptural religion, and of the 
calamities which are entailed on a nation by its extinction ; 
because the above-mentioned country rose in its welfare and 
glory with the progress of the Reformation, and declined 
in the same ratio as the scriptural doctrines gave way to the 
Roman Catholic reaction. The e£Pects which were pro- 
duced in Poland by the abolition of the Jesuits are a 
corroborating evidence of what we have advanced; because 
as soon as that incubus which paralysed the energies of the 
nation was removed (and great must be those energies, if 
they could not be crushed by such a long oppression), and 


a better system of education introduced into that country^ 
the national intellect advanced so rapidly, that during a 
period of about twenty years subsequent to the abolitiori 
of the Jesuits, the Polish literature produced, in spite of 
the most unfavourable political circumstances, more valuable 
works than it did during a whole century when public 
education was entirely conducted by them. 

This reanimation of the national intellect would have 
exercised the most salutary influence on the religious state 
of the country, had it not been counterbalanced by the 
calamities to which Poland has been exposed in conse^ 
quence of its dismemberment. This event, which should 
have apparently led to the extinction, or at least to the 
decrease of the national spirit, produced quite a contrary 
effect, and created throughout all parts of ancient Poland 
a strong feeling of nationality ; a feeling which could not 
be quenched even by all the unsuccessful attempts made by 
the Poles at recovering their political existence, and which 
have hitherto ended in bitter disappointment and renewed 
disasters. The best evidence of the energy of that feelings 
which seems to prosper by storm and acquire new vigour 
from oppression^ is the remarkable fact^ that literaturey 
which is the truest expression of the national mind, rose in 
Poland since its dismemberment, and notwithstanding the 
most unfavourable circumstances, to a degree of eminence 
which it had never before attained during the time of its 
political existence. The violent excitement created by that 
feeling, and which engrosses the national mind by one domi- 
nant idea — the restoration of the national independence — ex- 
cludes every other consideration which is not immediately con- 
nected with that all-absorbing subject; and therefore, as long 
as Poland continues in her present condition, it is almost 
impossible to expect that public opinion should be seriously 
directed towards ecclesiastical affairs in that country. 


although many individuals of the same country become 
every day more impressed with the importance of that 
subject. We do not, however, entertain any doubt that, 
should once the political excitement which now universally 
prevails in Poland be set at rest, by the attainment of the 
great object which creates that excitement, the national 
mind will turn with the same fervour as it did during the 
sixteenth century towards religion, and accomplish the great 
work of the Reformation, which was prevented at that time 
by a concurrence of unfortunate circumstances. As Christians 
and Poles, we humbly pray to God, and hope from his 
mercy for the religious and political emancipation of our 
country; and as Providence creates nothing in vain^ we firmly 
believe that it has not implanted in the hearts of the Polish 
nation that strong feeling to which we have alluded, and 
which has caused so much suffering to that nation, without 
an adequate purpose. We therefore hope and trust that 
the Almighty, after having prepared our nation by the severe 
trials to which, in his inscrutable ways, he has submitted us, 
will finally relieve it from its unfortunate condition, and 
give to it the grace of becoming in his hands a useful 
instrument for promoting the knowledge of the word of 
God, which is the only true foundation of the present and 
future happiness of mankind ; particularly amongst the 
numerous populations of the Slavonian race, amongst 
whom that knowledge had already been strongly ma- 
nifested, even before the Reformation of the sixteenth 

Although the Jesuits were chiefly instrumental in defeat-- 
ing the cause of the Reformation in Poland, they would 
never have succeeded in their object, had not the Protes- 
tants themselves greatly contributed to the triumph of their 
enemies, by committing many grave errors. The unfortu- 
nate jealousy and ill-will which the Lutherans constantly 


evinced against the united churches of tiie Helvetian and 
Bohemian confessions, at a time when it was necessary to 
lay aside all the minor differences which divided the Pro. 
testants amongst themselves, in order to act with united 
forces against Romanism, the common enemy of all, pro- 
duced deplorable consequences to the Protestant cause in 
Poland. But nothing did so much harm to the same cause 
as the anti-Trinitarian doctrines, which rose amidst the 
Helvetian churches of that country. The errors with which 
they infected many reformed churches, not only altered the 
purity of their doctrine, and incrreased dissension amongst 
Protestants; but they deeply injured the most powerful 
arm by which the cause of the Reformation was, and always 
will be 'promoted, the searching of the Scriptures. Many 
persons, terrified by the boldness of the anti-Trinitarian 
speculations, were seduced by the Romanist doctrine into 
the belief, that the study of the Scriptures ought not to be 
allowed to all Christians, as being dangerous to the purity 
of their faith, and consequently remained in the Roman 
Catholic communion, which they were on the point of aban- 
doning; or even having already abandoned that church, 
returned into its pale, preferring that persuasion, in spite 
of its acknowledged errors and abuses, to a philosophical 
school, which reasoned away revelation itself, and reduced 
Christianity to a mere code of ethics. It is almost super- 
fluous to add, that one unavoidable consequence produced 
by such a school was religious indifference, and that such 
indifference was destructive to a party, whose followers 
were constantly tempted to desert it by every kind of 
seduction on one hand, and persecution on the other, as was 
the case with the Protestants in Poland. 

It is a remarkable fact, that the history of the Reforma- 
tion in Poland has been hitherto not only neglected in our 
country, but even generally considered as being of minor 

PREFACE. xiii 

importance to its general history. Many superior writers, 
who treated of the history of Poland^ scarcely paid any at- 
tention to the influence which the doctrines of the Refor- 
mation exercised on our country, and which, according to 
our opinion, was of the greatest moment. These doctrines 
were professed by the most eminent nobles of the land ; 
they were discussed by frequent and numerous synods; and 
the churches where they were preached, the schools where 
they were taught^ as well as the presses devoted to their 
propagation, flourished over all Poland in great num- 
bers ;* whilst their disciples were able to muster in battle 
array forces sufficient to keep in check those of the Roman- 
ists. It is therefore evident, that a party which was so 
powerfully represented could not but exercise an adequate 
influence on the afiairs of the country ; and the contrary 
opinion about its importance may be chiefly ascribed to the 
circumstance, that when the Protestant cause began to 
decline, the Romanists carefully sought to destroy all 
records which had any relation to the doctrines of the 
Reformation. The Jesuits invariably exacted from the 
families which had relapsed intb Romanism the surrender of 
all books and documents connected in any way with their 
former persuasion, and which they always committed to 
the flames. They even purchased at a high price similar 
documents wherever they could get them, in order to devote 
them equally to destruction. 

Notwithstanding those auto-da-fes of Protestant records 
in Poland, there are, we think, sufficient materials for 
composing a complete history of the Reformation in that 

* The celebrated Jesuit Skarga, who lived at the end of the six- 
teenth, and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, complains 
that more than two thousand Romanist churches were converted into 
Protestant ones. 


country: but, unfortunately, they are not all within our -^ 

reach, and we have therefore been obliged to make use of ^ 

such only as those to which we could get access. Many ^ 

printed books and manuscripts relating to that subject must i\ 

be contained in the imperial library of St. Petersburgh, which •at 

was formed from the spoliation of the library of Zaluski,* at 3 

Warsaw, and which was particularly rich in works relating i 

to that subject, as the learned founder of that library, b 

bishop Joseph Andreas Zaluski, intended to write a work on s 

the religious history of Poland. The library of prince Adam t 

Czartoryski, at Pulawy, contained also splendid materials \ 

for the religious and literary history of Poland; but a ; 

part of it was seized in 1831 by the Russians, and carried 
to St. Petersburgh, whilst a part, and we have reason to 
think the most valuable, was saved, and is now in the estates 
of the prince in Austrian Poland. The library of the 
University of Warsaw, which contained about 200,000 
volumes, was also transferred to St. Petersburgh after the 
events of 1881 ; and we may therefore consider that capital 
as containing the richest store of materials for the religious, 
political, and literary nistoryof Poland. 

There are still three public libraries within the limits of 
ancient Poland, which may afibrd considerable information to 
the historical student of that country, but of which, distance 
and other circumstances precluded us from deriving any 
advantage. The first of them which is at Leopol (capital of 

* The library Zaluski, so called from the name of two learned 
bishops, brothers, who collected it at great pains and expense, was 
considered one of the best in Europe. The patriotic prelates to 
whom it belonged, made a present of it to the public; but after the 
final dismemberment of Poland in 17^^} this library was seized 
by the Russian Government, and transported to St. Petersburgh. 
This act of spoliation was effected in a very careless manner, and a 
great many valuable works were lost on that occasion. 


Austrian Poland), is called the InstituteofOssolinski, having 
been collected and bequeathed to the public by count Maxi- 
milian Ossolinski, whose learned researches, contained in his 
biographical and literary notices on several ancient Polish 
authors, have thrown a great deal of new light on the 
history of our country, and of which we had an opportunity 
of availing ourselves. This institute possesses many rare 
and important books relating to our subject ; and we sin- 
cerely hope that, under the superintendence of its present 
learned and patriotic trustee, i)rince Henry Lubomirski, it 
will be instrumental in promoting historical information not 
only about Poland, but also other Slavonian countries. The 
second of these libraries is that of the University of Cracow, 
which was a long time superintended by the learned George 
Samuel Bandkie, author of several valuable compositions 
on the history of Poland. His death (in 1835), was a great 
loss to historical science, and is particularly to be lamented, 
as he intended to vmte a work on the same subject that we 
have now attempted to treat ; and which, considering his 
means of information and known talent, would have un- 
doubtedly been infinitely superior to a composition of such 
modest pretension as this we venture now to offer to the 
English public. The third of these above-mentioned libra- 
ries is at Posnania (capital of Prussian Poland), and it 
was founded some years ago by count Edward Raczynski, 
who has by that public-spirited action deserved the grati- 
tude of every lover of national literature. We have great 
hopes that this establishment will be particularly conducive 
to the advance of information relating to the history of the 
Reformation in our coxmtry, as it is entrusted to the care 
of the learned Mr. Joseph Lukaszewicz, who supported by 
the noble founder of the above-mentioned establishment, 
has already made extensive and valuable researches on that 


subject) which he has embodied in his history of the Bohe- 
mian churches in Grand-Poland, aiid his account of the 
Protestant churches in the town of Posnania, two cxceBent 
contributions to the general history of the Reformation in 
Poland, from which we have derived considerable assistance 
in the composition of the present work. We sincerely 
hope, that Mr. Lukaszewicz will continue his useful labours, 
and that we shall see at a no distant date, a compre- 
hensive history of the Reformation in our country, from 
his able pen. 

Although the present work may be considered as the first 
attempt at writing a general history of the Reformation in 
Poland, many compositions on that subject have been pub- 
lished in different languages. Among the best, may be con- 
sidered Historia Reformationis Polonue^ by Lubienietzki, 
a Socinian writer, and Historia Ecclesiarum Slavanicarumy 
by Wengierski, a clergyman of the reformed church, 
who is also known under his assumed name of Regen- 
volscius. Both these works, written in the seventeenth 
century, contain much valuable information, but give no 
comprehensive view of the subject they treat of; and the 
former of them naturally evinces a Socinian bias. Friese 
published in 1786, in German, one volume of the eccle^ 
siastical history of Poland, and two of contributions to the 
history of its Reformation ; but it is to be regretted that the 
deep research, and indefatigable industry in collecting facts 
by which his work is distinguished, are somewhat injured 
by his bigotted partiality to Lutheranism. It would, how- 
ever, be tedious and uninteresting to the generality of our 
readers, if we were to enumerate all the sources which we 
have made use of in writing the present sketch, and which 
we have consulted chiefly in the library of the British 
Museum, which contains an extensive store of books relat- 


ing to Poland not only in Latin, but likewise in the national 
language of that country.* There are also some rare and 
valuable works relating to our subject in the archiepiscopal 
library at Lambeth, the access to which was kindly per- 
mitted to us by its librarian ; and we have derived great 
assistance from the splendid collection at Kensington Palace, 
an unreserved use of which was most liberally granted to 
us by his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, and we 
seize this opportunity humbly to acknowledge our deep 
sense of gratitude for this, as well as many other proofs of 
kindness, with which his Royal Highness has honoured the 
author of this essay. We received also from the libraries 
of Paris many important extracts, which were furnished to 
us by a literary friend, with whom we were conjointly en- 
gaged on some literary labours in Poland, before we were 
cast on the hospitable shores of Great Britain, by the 
events which agitated our unfortunate country in 1831. 
We owe to the same friend, whom we are not authorised 
now to name, not only the above-mentioned extracts, but 
have obtained, from his indefatigable researches and great 
erudition, the most valuable assistance in London; and we 
freely confess that, if it had not been for this assistance, 
our work would have been even more imperfect than it 
is at present. 

A history of the Reformation proper, should perhaps 
begin only from the time when its doctrines were proclaimed 
by Luther and Zuinglius ; but it would have been imposr- 
sible to account for the causes which facilitated the progress 
of these doctrines in our country, without giving a sketch 
of its state previously to that momentous revolution. We 

•The library of the British Museum possesses almost all the works 
of the best Polish authors, which were presented to that library 
by Prince Adam Czartoryski. 


hare therefore devoted the first or introductory part of the 
first volume to the delineation of the period from the intro^ 
duction of the Christian religion to the accession of king 
Sigismund the First, (065-1508.) We have attempted to 
analize in that part of our work, the causes which prepared 
the ground for the Reformation of the sixteenth century in 
Poland, and which were the opposition of the national or 
Slavonian churches to the Roman ritual and discipline; 
the free institutions of the country, and the doctrines of 
Huss, widely circulated in Poland during the fifteenth 
century, in the second part of the same volume, we have 
tried to sketch out, firstly, the reign of Sigismund the First 
(1508-48), which was marked by the rapid spread of Lu- 
theranism in Polish Prussia; by its violent but temporary 
suppression occasioned rather by political than religious 
motives, and by the silent but active working of Protes- 
tant doctrines amongst the upper classes of society, which 
produced their powerful manifestation in the ensuing reign. 
Secondly, the reign of Sigismund Augustus (1548-1572), 
during which the doctrines of the Reformation attained in 
Poland their full development ; and we have successively 
described the abolition of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of 
the Roman Catholic church in its civil effects, by which 
the greatest barrier against the progress of the Reformation 
was removed; the establishment of the three Protestant 
churches, vi%, the Reformed or Helvetian, the Bohemian 
and the Lutheran, as well as the union effected amongst 
these churches, and the rise and progress of anti-Trinita- 
rianism. We have concluded this vcdume with the demise of 
Sigismund Augustus, whose leaning towards the doctrines 
of the Reformation was evident, and whose untimely death 
seems to have chiefly prevented their final triumph in our 
country. The second and last volume of this work will 
be devoted to the melancholy description of the decline of 


the Refcnrmation in Poland under the Romanist reaction, 
and of the depl<mible consequences which it produced in 
our country. 

Although we have carefully abstained from making use 
of passionate language, wherever we expressed xiur con- 
demnation, either of the unj^indpled proceedings which 
were employed for the destruction of the cause of the 
Reformation in our country by its enemies, or of die faults 
and errors by which its own partisans injured it, we are 
afraid that we may have sometimes unwillingly givoi utter, 
ance to the bitter feelings with which our breast was fre- 
quently agitated, in describing the religious and political 
disasters of our country. We therefore request the for- 
giveness of our readers, and beg them to consider for a 
moment, what must have been the state of feelings of one 
who, educated by a pious mother in the tenets of scriptural 
religion, and taught from his earliest infancy to consider 
that religion as the only true foundation of his present 
and future happiness, and the love of his native land 
as a sacred duty commanded by its precepts; of one 
who, being strongly im{»essed by those sentiments, was 
recording the overthrow of his religion, and the consequent 
decline and fall of his country. At the same time, we 
most solemnly disclaim every hostile or unkind feeling 
against the followers of the Roman Catholic church, amongst 
whom we have many dear friends and relatives. Although 
we were born and bred in the reformed church of Poland, 
a great part of our family are Roman Catholics, and to this 
circumstance united with some others, it is owing that, in 
our countrV) we have associated much more with the Roman 
Catholics than with Protestants; and we positively declare, 
that we have never experienced from them the slightest act 
of unkindness on account of our religious persuasion. The 
Roman Catholics of Poland are certainly the most liberal, 



and less bigotted of all in Europe ; and it will be our pleasing 
task to enumerate instances of Roman Catholics, not only 
laymen, but even prelates of their church, who, animated 
by patriotic sentiments, have defended the rights of their 
Protestant countrymen. 

We should perhaps apologise for our presumption in 
attempting to write in English; but the few performances 
which we have ventured to publish anonymously in the 
same language have been received with so much forbear- 
ance, that nothing remains to us but to request the English 
public to extend the same forbearance to the present work. 

Fortunate, indeed, shall we consider ourselves, if this 
imperfect attempt of ours to delineate the history of the 
Reformation in our country wiU inspire the English reader 
with additional motives to bless Providence, and feel more 
grateful for the invaluable boon which it has conferred 
on the British nation, by the spread of the knowledge of 
the word of God ; and if it serves to increase that sympathy 
which the free-bom Britons have so strongly manifested for 
the misfortunes of our country — a, country which was for a 
long time the bulwark of Christendom against the infidels, 
and the sons of which have on many occasions supported 
by their swords the cause of scriptural religion against the 
oppression of Rome, 

September 18^ 183& 





Establishment of the Christian religion in Poland. — 
Introduction of Christianity amongst the Slavonian 
nations accomplished under peculiar circumstances. — 
Extent of the Slavonian possessions in the ninth 
century. — ^Their form of government, manners, and 
religion. — ^Traditions about St. Andreas' visit to the 
Slavonian nations. — ^Traces of Christianity amongst the 
Slavonians as early as the seventh century. — Relations 
of Cyrillus and Methodius with Rome, and^ disputes 
about the worship in the national language which they 
established amongst their Slavonian converts. — Their 
influence on Poland. — Causes of the extraordinary 
success which attended their apostolical labours. — ^The 
national churches long resist the Papal oppression in 
several Slavonian countries. — Traces of their existence 
in Poland. — Efforts of queen Hedvige to promote 



divine service and religious instruction in the national 
language. — Evidence of Roman Catholic authors^ 
concerning^ the existence of the national worship in 
Poland. — Influence of these churches on the political 
relations of the country with Rome. — Influence of the 
German Emperors on Poland at the time of the baptism 
of its duke, Mieczyslaw. —Resistance of the Polish 
idolaters to the establishment of Christianity. — Boleslav 
the First unites with his dominions a part of Grand 
Moravia, where the national worship was established by 
Cyrillus and Methodius. — Influence which that circum- 
stance has produced in Poland attested by some precepts 
of the Oriental Church observed by the Roman Catholic 
church of Poland. — Emperor Otton the Third arrives 
in Poland ; confers on Boleslav the First, duke of Poland, 
the royal dignity, as well as all the rights possessed by 
the emperors in ecclesiastical matters. — Unfavourable 
effect of this circumstance on the national churches.-— 
Pagan reaction during the minority of Casimir the 
First. — It is suppressed, and paganism disappears from 
Poland. — Quarrel between king Boleslav the Dauntless 
and Stanislav Szczepanowski bishop of Cracow. — 
Reasons to believe that it originated from other mo- 
tives than those to which it has been generally ascribed. 
—-Consequences of Boleslav's expulsion from the throne 
of Poland. — Division of Poland into separate princi- 
palities by Boleslav the Wrymouth, favourable to the 
influence of the clergy. — Synod of Lenczyca. —Vla- 
dislav Spindleshanks^ duke of Cracow, claims the 
inheritance of deceased bishops. — He abrogates in his 
dominions the privileges of the clergy, and subjects 
them to the civil authority. — ^The clergy are obliged to 
submit to him.— The church recovers its supremacy 
under Vladislav Odonicz and Boleslav Pudicus. — 
Quarrels about tithes.— Reasons why the opposition to 


the authority of the R(»nan Catholic church was 
stronger in Poland than in other countries subject to its 
domination,-*.Disputes between the Popes and the kings 
of Poland about the right of nominating bishops, which 
end in a complete triumph of the latter* — The internal 
state of the clergy -in Poland^ and its relations with 
Rome during that period, are very little known. 
Marriage of Priests. — Religious sects. — Waldensians. — 
Flagellants and Fratricelli. — John Pimensis and his 
followers. — Influence of the Hussite doctrines. — Anti- 
romanist manifestations in Bohemia previously to Huss, 
and their influence on Poland. — Influence of WiclifF on 
Bohemia and Poland. — Quarrel between the national and 
the German or foreign parties at the university of 
Prague. — The national party, headed by Huss, gains 
its point, and the Germans retire from Prague. — 
Intimate connexion of Poland with Bohemia during that 
period. — ^The Polish nobility present at the council of 
Constance zealously take the part of Huss. — Spread 
of Hussite doctrines in Poland. — Political relations 
between Poland and Bohemia during the Hussitan 
wars. — A Polish prince is sent with an army to the assis- 
tance of the Hussites. — A public disputation between the 
delegates of the Hussites and the doctors of the univer- 
sity of Cracow takes place at Cracow, in the presence of 
the king and the senate. — Favourable reception of a Hus- 
site embassy by the Polish bishops ; but the bishop of 
Cracow foils, by his violent zeal, their conciliatory views. 
— Revolutionary movements of the Polish Hussites. — 
After a momentary success, they are defeated. — The 
Hussite party elects Casimir Jaguellon, prince of Poland, 
king of Bohemia; but several circumstances prevent 
his taking possession of the throne. — Casimir having 
succeeded to the throne of Poland, supports George 
Podiebrad, the Hussite king of Bohemia. — The Polish 



prince, Vladislav, is elected king of Bohemia, by which 
the Jaguellian dynasty was established on the throne of 
that country. — Probable causes why the Hussite doc- 
trines did not gain the upper-hand in Poland. — Religious 
and political state of Poland during the fifteenth 
century. — Reform in the church proposed by Ostrorog 
to the Polish Diet of 1549 — Sketch of the Oriental 
church of Poland during that period ••• ••• 106 


Comprehending events from 1508 to the Jinal establishment of the 
Protestant doctrines in that country — 1572. 




State of the Roman Catholic church in Poland at the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century. — Anti-Romanist works 
published in Poland a few years before the beginning 
of Luther's reformation. — The Lutheran doctrines cir- 
culate in Polish- Prussia very soon after they had been 
proclaimed at Wittenberg. — Affairs of Dantzic. — Revo- 
lutionary movement effected by the reformers of 
Dantzic. — Sigismund the Firsts king of Poland, sup- 
presses^ by a display of authority^ the Reformation and 
the new political order in Dantzic^ and restores its 
ancient political state of things. — Reasons for believing 
that this reaction was brought about by political^ and 
not religious motives — Spread of Lutheranism in other 



parts of Polish-Prussia. — Their revival at Dantzic***— 
The doctrines of the Reformation meet with little success 
in the duchy of Mazovia. — Different resolutions adopted 
by the Roman Catholic clergy of Poland, in order to 
arrest the progress of the Reformation. — Prohibition 
to Polish students to frequent Protestant universities. — 
A royal ordinance establishes the liberty of the press in 
Poland in 1539. — ^The Diet of Cracow, in 1543^ grants to 
the inhabitants of Poland the liberty of studying at the 
foreign universities. — Personal character of Sigismund 
the First. — Influence of queen Bona on the affairs of 
Protestantism. — Secret society for discussing theological 
subjects established at Cracow«^Account of the Bohe- 
mian Brethren. — ^Their arrival in Poland ... ... 107 



Agitated state of the country at the accession of Sigismund 
Augustus^ caused by his marriage with Barbara Radzi- 
will. — Unwise line of policy followed on that occasion 
by the Protestant nobles. — Riot of the students of the 
university of Cracow, and emigration of a great number 
of them to foreign academies. — Valenty, parish priest of 
Krzczonow, gives the first instance of marrying a wife, 
and of openly avowing his Protestant opinions.— 
Zebrzydowski, bishop of Cracow, a violent opponent of 
the Reformation. — Character of that prelate. — His vain 
attempt to persecute Przedawski, a noble who had 
publicly embraced Protestantism. — Nicolaus Olesnicki 
converts the first Roman Catholic church into a Pro- 
testant. — He is summoned for this act before the king 
and the senate. — Difference of opinion about his judg- 



ment. — He goes unpunished. — The Roman Catholic 
synod of Piotrkow of 1551 resolves to extirpate heresy 
by all possible means. — Attempt to put into execution 
the resolutions of their synod. — Martyrdom of Nicolaus^ 
pariah priest of Kurow. — ^Unauccessful attempts at per- 
secuting Stadnicki and other nobles. — The attempts of 
the Roman Catholic clergy raise a violent opposition on 
the part of the nobles of Poland 152 



Orzechowski^ his character and influence on the religious 
affairs of Poland.— 'He marries a wife in spite of being a 
Roman Catholic priest^ and is persecuted for that. — 
His vigorous defence. — Hostile feelings evinced against 
the Roman Catholic clergy^ manifested by the Diet of 
1550. — Influence of Orzechowski at that Diet. — Ge- 
neral irritation against the Roman Catholic clergy. — 
The Diet of 1552 manifests at its opening the most 
decided anti- Romanist opinions. — The bishops refuse to 
surrender their rights. — ^The ecclesiastical jurisdiction is 
virtually abrogated by that Diet, which deprived the 
decrees of the spiritual courts of having any civil 
effects. — Irritation of the Roman Catholic bishops 
against that enactment. — Attempts of the Roman Ca- 
tholic clergy to evade that enactment. — Versatility of 
Orzechowski^ who reconciliates himself with the Roman 
Catholics. — But again quarrels with them. — Orze- 
chowski's letters to the Popes Julius the Third and 




Paul the Fourth.^^Uis pungent remarks on the oath 
of fidelity to the Pope taken by the Roman Catholic 
bishops.— >He becomes finally reconciled with the Roman 
Catholic church, and turns his attacks against its an- 
tagonists. — Andreas Modrzewski, his character and 
writings. — Stancari^ principal object of the attacks of 
Orzechowski. — Political doctrines supported by Orze- 
diowski after his final reconciliation with Rome 179 






Birth and parentage of Laski. — Laski's connexion with 
Erasmus. — He leaves his country in order to devote 
himself more effectually to the cause of the Refor- 
mation. — He publicly embraces the reformed religion ; 
and settles in Friesland^ where he is entrusted with the 
organization of the churches. — ^Laski is invited by 
Cranmer to assist him in reforming the church of 
England. — His first visit to England. — He returns to 
England^ and is created superintendent of the foreign 
churches. — Laski is obliged to leave England with his 
congregation. — ^They suffer persecution from the Luthe- 
rans in Denmark and in some parts of Germany.— 
Efforts of Laski to unite the Protestant churches. — 





Laski's return to Poland^ where he continues his aposto- 
lical labours. — The Italian Lismanini inflicts great injury 
to the cause of the reformation in Poland, by embracing 
anti-Trinitarian opinions. ... ... ... ... 238 



Demands of the Polish Diet addressed to the Council of 
Trent. — Arrival of Lippomani in Poland. — ^The fallacy 
of the papal promises to reform the church by a general 
council^ and the dangers threatening the country from 
the residence of his legate^ are ably exposed by Verge- 
rius. — Letter of the Pope to Sigismund Augustus, 
reproaching' him for his inclination to the Protestants. — 
Effects of Uppomani's intrigues in Poland. — He advises 
the king to extirpate heresy by treachery and bloodshed, 
and excites against himself a general hatred throughout 
all the country. — Roman Catholic synod of Lovicz. — 
It makes a show of independence ; which is, however, 
soon overcome by the intrigues of Lippomani. — Remark- 
able confession of this synod about the state of the 
Roman Catholic church in Poland, and the causes of its 
corruption. — The synod fails in its attempt at prosecuting 
a refractory priest. — Judicial murder committed by the 
synod on some Jews and one Christian woman. — 
Correspondence between Lippomani and Radziwill. — 
The convocation of a national synod prevented by the 
intrigues of Commendoni, the legate of the Pope. — 




Poland takes no part in the council of Trent^ and op- 
poses its enactments ••• ..« 285 



Roman Catholic synod of Piotrkow enactment against 
foreign ministers, maintaining anti-Trinitarian doctrines. 
— Fruitless attempts of Hosius to apply that ordinance to 
the Bohemian Brethren. —It is applied to the celebrated 
Ochino, who is obliged to leave Poland.— The Roman 
Catholic clergy tries in vain to persecute the citizens of 
Posnania. — Otwinowski insults the most sacred cere- 
mony of the Roman Catholic church, during a public pro- 
cession in the streets of Lublin. — He is accused, tried^ 
and acquitted ; but a new law is enacted to protect the 
worship of all religious parties. — Insidious propositions 
made by the bishops to the Protestants. — Establishment 
of Lutheranism in Polish-Prussia. — Lutheranism^ estab- 
lished in Livonia, is confirmed at the union of that pro- 
vince with Poland. — A reformed church is erected at 
Cracow, with the privilege of the monarch. — Estab- 
lishment of the Bohemian Brethren in Poland, and rapid 
extension of their church. — They establish a union with 
the Helvetian church in Poland 320 




First manifestations of anti-Trinitarian doctrines in Poland. 
— Oonesius publicly proclaims them at a synod in 1556.'— 




QonesiQS gains many followers. — The school of Pinczow 
becomes chiefly infected with those doctrines^ which are 
divided into seyeral shades. — Efforts of the reformed 
church of Poland to combat these dangerous doctrines^ 
and violent advice given to it by the reformers of 
Switzerland. — Blandrata^ and his influence on the pro- 
gress of anti-Trinitarianism in Poland. Gregory Pauli 
gives to the anti-Trinitarian doctrines a more complete 
development. — The reformed synod of Cracow, in 1563, 
formally condemns the doctrines of the anti-Trinitarians, 
and establishes a final separation from them. — Anti-Tri- 
nitarian synod of Mordy. — Synod of Wengrow. — Prin- 
cipal tenets of their sect. — Public disputation between 
the reformed and the anti-Trinitarians, held at the Diet 
of Piotrkow in 1566 ... , 344 



Opposition of the Lutherans to the union of the three 
Protestant churches of Poland. — A deputation is sent by 
the Bohemian Brethren to the chief reformers of Europe, 
who approve their confession. — Synods of Xionz and 
Posnania convened in order to promote that union. — 
Morgenstern, the Lutheran pastor of Thorn, a zealous 
opponent of the Bohemian Brethren. — The Lutheran 
fiynod of Posnania accuses the Bohemian Brethren of 
maintaining heretical tenets. — Answer of the Bohemian 
Brethren to that accusation. — The dispute is referred to 
the judgment of the divirfesof Wittenberg, who decide 



it in favour of the Bohemians. — The synod of Sandomir^ 
in 1670, eiFects the desired union.— ^Act of the consent 
of Sandomir. — ^Consensus Sandomiriensis. — Enactments 
of the synod of Posnania, which gives a further deve- 
lopment to the resolutions passed by that of Sandomir . . 366 



Sketch of Hosius's life and character. — His politicsjl 
opinions. — Introduction of the Jesuits into Poland. — 
Death of Sigismund Augustus^ and sketch of his 
character ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• •<• »^"" 






The generally admitted opinion, founded on the Establishment 

•J r • A u • 1 • al X Ai_ caU of the Christian 

evidence of ancient chronicles, is, that on the 5th religion in po- 
March 965 Mieczyslaw* the First, duke of Po- ^^ 
land, received the sacrament of the holy baptism, 
having been induced to take that step by the 
persuasions of his consort, the Bohemian Prin- 
cess Dombrovka, and that he abolished idolatry 
and established Christianity throughout his domi- 
— — ^- — 

* Pronounced Miecheeslav ; it signifies in Slavonian the 
sword of glory. The Slavonian names have generally a sig- 
nification, as for instance : Vladislav, the ruler of glory ; Sta- 
nislav, the establisher of glory ; Kasimir^ destroyer of peace ; 
Vladimir^ ruler of peace; &c. 

VOL. I. B 


nions. Yet it is neither agreeable to the nature 
of things, nor can it stand the test of a sound 
historical criticism, that a nation should on a 
sudden change the worship of its ancestors for a 
new although enlightened religion, without having 
been long previously prepared for that mighty 
revolution, by a continual and successive instilla- 
tion of the new doctrines. However lax and 
unsystematical the tenets of the northern idolaters 
in general were, we see them in every country of- 
fering more or less resistance before they yielded 
to the influence of the light of the gospel. Their 
opposition was always the most stubborn wher- 
ever the doctrinesof Christianity were introduced 
by the strong hand of temporal authority, instead 
of being propagated by ministers of the Gospel 
deserving of that name. Indeed we always see, 
that a few missionaries, destitute of worldly power 
and riches, but animated by the spirit of Christian 
meekness and charity, have more easily overcome 
the obstinacy of the pagans than all those mighty 
monarchs who tried to convert by the arguments 
of fire and sword, either their own subjects or 
conquered nations. 

It is improbable that Poland should form an 
exceptipn to that general phenomenon ; and in- 
deed there is sufficient historical evidence, that the 
rays of the Gospel, which in the ninth century 
enlightened many Slavonian nations, had pene- 
trated into Poland long before the conversion of 


Mieczyslaw. There are also facts which prove, 
that after the Christian religion had become the 
persuasion of the rulers of the country, the an- 
cient idolatry continued for some time to strug- 
gle against the domination of the cross before it 
became totally extinct. 

We cannot speak of the introduction of the introduction 
Christian religion into Poland, without slightly amongst the 

..... •1.11,. /% Slavonian na- 

mentionmg the manner in which the doctrines of dons accom- 
the Gospel were manifested amongst the gi-eat p^uUardr-^^ 
family of the Slavonian* nations, of which the ^""'^ ^^^^' 
Poles constitute a most important branch. The 
circumstances under which that great moral 
revolution was effected are peculiar, and different 
from those under which the conversion of the 
generality of European nations was accomplished ; 

* We have adopted this manner of spelling instead of Scla- 
vonians^ generally used by the English writers. There are 
two opinions about the origin of their name; one^ that it is 
derived from slava (glory), and the other that it proceeds from 
slovo (word). This last opinion is supported by the circumstance, 
that the name given to Germans by all Slavonian nations is 
Niemietz, which is synonimou3 with dumb. It is supposed, 
therefore, that the Slavonians, who call themselves not only 
Slavianie, but Slovenie, literally warder s^ gave to themselves 
this name, believing to be exclusively gifted with the use of 
the word, whilst they called foreigners, whom they were unable 
to understand, NiemietZy or dumb. The Byzantine writers, 
who corrupted the names of all nations, called the Slavonians 
^KXcc/^nvovi or ^KXxvviVHi; hence the English Sclavonians and 
the French Esclavons, 


and indeed, in the very beginning of the Christian 
religion amongst the Slavonian nations, although 
converted under the influence of the Popes, were 
already sown the germs of an opposition to the 
power of Rome, at least in matters of discipline 
and outward form of worship. This opposition, 
which constantly manifested itself with more or 
less success, prepared the ground for the refor- 
mation of Huss, — a reformation which certainly 
would have been not less powerful and extensive 
than that of Luther, if the mighty engine of the 
press had been already invented, and could have 
been used for the speedy propagation of the holy 
siait!Sfun*^* At the beginning of the ninth century the 
sessions in the Slavonians inhabited a most extensive tract of 

nintii century. 

eastern Europe. Their possessions extended from 
the Black Sea along the Danube, and to the south- 
west of that river, on the shores of the Adriatic, 
occupying the ancient Roman provinces of Pan- 
nonia, Dacia, lUyria, and Dalmatia ; from the 
northern point of the Adriatic, the Slavonian 
settlements continued bordering on the Tyrol and 
Bavaria to the upper part of the Elbe, occupying 
the country between that river and the Saala as 
well as all the right bank of the Elbe, extending 
over the southern shore of the Baltic from Jutland 
to the mouths of the Vistula; from the Vistula 
(with the exception of the coast of the Baltic, 
inhabited by another race) the Slavonians were 


spread over all the country situated between that 
river and the Danube. Thus they possessed the 
immense tract of land which now constitutes the 
greatest part of the Austrian dominions — as 
Hungary, the provinces bordering on Italy and 
the Tyrol, Bohemia and Moravia, a great part of 
Saxony, the March of Brandeburg, Silesia, Po- 
merania, and the isle of Rugen were included in 
the Slavonian possessions; the territory which 
had constituted ancient Poland as well as a great 
part of the Russian empire in Europe, completed 
the dominions of that immense race, which even 
now is supposed by the ablest geographers to com- 
prehend a population of about 70,000,000 souls. 

This numerous race, divided into many tribes, governm^t,^ 
existed, according to contemporary authors, under J^ng°o"' ^^ 
republican or popular forms of government. 
However, it seems that they generally acknow- 
ledged the sway of hereditary or elected chieftains, 
who governed with the consent of national assem- 
blies called Viecha, and exercised more or less 
limited powers delegated to them by the above- 
mentioned assemblies. The Slavonians are des- 
cribed by the Byzantine writers,* who observed 
them on the borders of the Danube, as well as by 
the German missionariesf who cultivated an inter- 

* Emperor Mauritius and Procopius. 

f Adam of Bremen, Vita Sancti Ottonis; Helmoldus; 
Dittmar of Merseburg, &c. — Adam of Bremen says of the Sla- 
vonians, '' Moribus et hospitalitate nulla gens honestior," The 



about St. An- 
dreas' visit to 
the Slavonian 

course with those that inhabited the shores of the 
Baltic, as devoted to agricultural pursuits, mild 
and domestic in their manners, brave but peaceful, 
hospitable to strangers, and devout in the worship 
of their idols. 

The Slavonian mythology rivals in beautiful 
imagery that of ancient Greece, while it is free 
from the gross impurity by which the latter of 
them is tainted ; and the moral precepts which 
were taught by the religion of the Slavonians seem 
to be far superior to all those which were inculcat- 
ed by the idolatrous creeds of the rest of Europe. 

However interesting might prove an inquiry 
into the origin, manners, religion, and history of 
this immense race, so little known in this country, 
neither the limits nor the nature of the present 
work permit us to make such a digression. We 
therefore return to our immediate object, which is 
the conversion of the Slavonian nations. 

There is an ancient tradition which says, that 
already Saint Andreas, the apostle, preached the 
gospel to the Slavonians, having penetrated as 
far as the spot where the town of Kiof was 
afterwards built.* Although there is nothing 

same author in describing the Slavonian town Julin^ or Vineta, 
situated on the shores of the Baltic at the mouth of the Oder, 
says, *' Nihil non hahet jucundi aut rari" — Vide Dobrowski 

* Nestor relates this event as a mere tradition ; he has pro- 
bably taken it from some Byzantine writer. 


improbable in this tradition, there is neither 
any historical evidence to prove his missionary 
voyage, nor are there any traces of Christianity 
being spread in those parts at such an early 
period. We must consequently pass over all 
those times, about which v^e can only make 
vain conjectures, and arrive at the ninth century, 
M^hich is the epoch when the reign of the 
gospel was finally established amongst our Sla- 
vonian ancestors. 

It is impossible to admit that the Slavonians, Traces of 

* ... Christianity 

bordering on such an extensive line of frontiers, amongst the 

Slavonians as 

with the Christians of the east and the west, had early as the se- 

1 11 • /» 1 1 i* 1 venth century. 

remained totally ignorant of the truths of the 
gospel. There were, indeed, many conversions 
amongst them, naturally effected by the frequent 
intercourse, in war and peace, with the Christians. 
But although those conversions seem to have been 
extensive already in the seventh century, as the 
Sixth Synod of Constantinople, held in 680, num- 
bers theSlavoniansamongstthe Christian nations,* 
and an individual of that nation occupied the pa* 
triarchal see of Byzantium in 766 ;t yet it does not 
appear that Christianity had been established by 
any Slavonian nation as a dominant religion pre- 
viously to the middle of the ninth century. It was 
• ■■ ■ ■ I . ■ ■ p 

* Vide J. Amos. Comenius. Ratio disciplinse Amstelodami^ 

f Theophanes, Cedroius^ Zonaras^ &c. apud Stritter, Memo 
TUB Populorum, &c., vol, ii. page 80. 


about that time that the Bulgarians, who inhabit- 
ed the banks of the Danube and had a constant 
and immediate intercourse with Constantinople, 
became converted by Greek missionaries. The 
conversion of great Moravia was completed by 
Cyrillus or Constantine and Methodius, two bro- 
thers, natives of Thessalonica, well versed in the 
Slavonian language, who were sent by the Greek 
emperor Michael the Third to Moravia, at the re- 
quest of the monarch of that country. Nestor, the 
most ancient of the Slavonian chroniclers, posi- 
tively says, that the inhabitants of Moravia had 
already been baptised before the arrival of Metho- 
dius and Cyrillus and that they were called in, 
particularly in order to translate the Scriptures 
into the Slavonian tongue.* 

* The Moravian princes Rostislav, Sviatopolk, and Kotzel 
sent to the emperor Michael^ and said : '' Our land is baptized^ 
but we have no teachers who would instruct us and translate for 
us the sacred books. We do not understand either the Greek or 
the Latin tongue — some teach us one thing and some another ; 
therefore we do not understand the meaning of the Scriptures^ 
neither their import. Send us teachers who might explain to 
us the words of the scripture and their meaning.*' When the 
emperor Michael heard this^ he called together his philosophers^ 
and told to them the message of the Slavonian princes^ and the 
philosophers said : '* there is at Thessalonica a man named Leon; 
he has two sons who know well the Slavonian language, and are 
both clever philosophers." On hearing this, the emperor sent to 
Thessalonica to Leon saying : " Send to us thy sons Methodius 
and Constantine;" which hearing, Leon directly sent them, and 



They effected that important work to the great 
satisfaction of the Slavonian population ; ^' and 
the Slavonians rejoiced on hearing the greatness 
of God related in their own tongue," says Nestor. 
The papal records prove also that Moravia be- 
longed to the spiritual authority of the archbishop 
of Passau about 820- — 30. The archbishop of 
Saltzburg consecrated in 836 the church of Nitra, 
a town situated in Hungary but belonging at that 
time to great Moravia. But the Moravian Slavo- 
nians seem to have entertained a strong aversion 
to a mode of worship which was introduced by 
the Germans, with whom they were constantly at 
variance, and which prevented them from address- 
sing the Supreme Being in the language of their 

It is generally asserted that Cyrillus and Me- 
thodius, in translating the Scriptures, invented 
the Slavonian letters, which even in our time con- 
tinue to be in use, and are known under the name 

when they came to the emperor he said to them : ** The Slavo- 
nian lands have sent to me requesting teachers that might 
translate for them the holy scriptures." And being persuaded 
by the emperor^ they went into the Slavonian land to Rostislav^ 
to Swiatopolk^ and to Kotzel. And having arrived^ they began 
to compose a Slavonian alphabet, and translated the Acts of the 
Apostles and the Gospels^ and the Slavonians rejoiced hearing 
the greatness of God in their own language. After which they 
translated the Psalter^ and the Octoik^ and the other books. 
— Vide Annals of Nestor, original text, edit. St. Petersburg 
1767, pages 20-23. 


of Cyrillian letters. Nevertheless we have suflS- 
cient reasons to believe that the Slavonians were 
acquainted with the use of letters, and possessed 
of a no inconsiderable degree of civilisation even 
before their conversion to Christianity.* And 
indeed, whatever may have been the talents of 
Cyrillus and Methodius, it is almost impossible to 

* There is no doubt that many Slavonian nations were ac- 
quainted with the use of letters previously to the introduction 
of the Christian religion^ but it is impossible to ascertain whe- 
ther those letters were peculiar to the Slavonians or borrowed 
from other nations. The ancient chronicles of Bohemia speak 
of legislative tables (deski pravodatne) in the seventh century. 
Vide Palacki's Geschichte von Bbhmen, vol. i. page 182. The 
ancient Slavonian name for a wizard^ Czarnokniznik^ signifies 
literally one occupied with black books, which leads to the sup- 
position that the Slavonian conjurers made use of certain scrip- 
tures in performing their incantations. Martinus Gallus speaks 
of Polish chronicles previously to the introduction of the Chris- 
tian religion, which were destroyed by the Christian mission- 
aries. According to Dittmar of Merseburg, who lived in the 
eleventh century^ the Baltic Slavonians had idols with inscrip- 
tions. The Slavonian idols which have been found in the duchy 
of Meclemburghad Runic inscriptions. The Cyrillian alphabet 
is used now, with some alterations^ in Russia^ Moldavia^ Walla- 
chia, and Servia. It is nothing but the Greek alphabet with 
the addition of some new letters in order to express such sounds 
in which the Greek language is deficient. The evidence of 
Byzantian authors on this subject^ which is not correct, may 
be found in Stritter's Memorice Popuhrum, vol. ii. page 964. 
The Dalmatian Slavonians have a separate alphabet called the 
Glagolite, the invention of which has been erroneously attribu- 
ted to Saint Hieronymus^ because during his life-time there 
were no Slavonians in the Roman empire. 


admit that a translation as perfect as that they 
have accomplished, could be made in a language 
hitherto entirely uncultivated. 

The Byzantine writer Procopius, who lived in ] 
the sixth century, and the celebrated biographer * 
of Charlemagne Eginhard, who wrote in the 
eighth, agree in stating that all the Slavonian 
nations made use in their times of the same lan- 
guage. This opinion is corroborated by the evidence 
of Nestor, who flourished in the eleventh century,* 
as well as by the fact that the bible of Cyrill arid 
Methodius is still in use amongst all the Slavonian 
nations following the tenets of the eastern church, 
and that the same nations have also preserved the 
language of that bible in the performance of 
divine service. It is probably owing to that uni- 
versality of a common idiom, that the labours of 
Cyrillus and Methodius obtained a rapid success 
amongst all the Slavonians. 

It was just the time of the disputes between Relations of 

, . ^ Cyrillus and 

the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope, Methodius 
which led to the final separation of the western and disputes 

/• .1 , t 1 A ^ about the wor- 

from the eastern church. Amongst many reasons sWp in the na- 
of quarrel, the domination over the newly con- ^wch SLy**^^ 
verted Slavonian nations was a no inconsiderable a^ngst^^eir 
subject of contest between Constantinople and ^^^s!"^"^ ^^" 
Rome. It is clear that Cyrillus and Methodius, 

* Procopius apud Stritter^ torn. xi. page 29^ s. 18. Eginhard 
apud Dobrowski Slavin^ annals of Nestor original text, edit of 
St. Petersburg 1767, page 23. 


although they introduced amongst their new 
converts the rites of the oriental church, and 
performed divine service in the vernacular tongue, 
acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope ; be- 
cause we see them receiving an approbation of 
their pious labours from Pope John VIII., be- 
fore whose tribunal they were called in order to 
give an explanation of their procedings.* 

The readiness with which that Pope approved 
a mode of worship to which his successors have 
only sometimes reluctantly assented, was probably 

* And some persons began to blame the Slavonian Scriptures^ 
saying that it does not become any nation to have its own 
alphabet except the Hebrews^ the Greeks^ and the Latins^ 
according to the inscription of Pilate, which he wrote on the 
cross of our Lord. But the Roman Pope having heard this^ 
rebuked those who murmured against the Slavonian scriptures, 
and saidj <^ Let the words of the scripture be fulfilled^ and Jail 
the nations praise God." — ^Vide Nestor loco citato. The Pope^ in 
permitting the use of the vernacular tongue^ ordered that the 
gospel should be read before in Latin^ and then in Slavonian. 
^' Jubemus ut in omnibus Ecclesiis propter majorem honorificen^ 
tiam evangelium Latinelegatur^ etpost, Slavonica lingua transla^ 
turn in auribus populi Latina verba non intelligentis annuncietur, 
sicut in quibusdam ecclesiis Jieri videtun Vide Schlozer et 
Stredowski^ Moravia Sacra Historia, apud Friese Bey trage zur 
Reformations geschichte in Polen, t. 1 . CyriUus et Methodius 
lingua Grceca et Slavica prompti, evocati Romam et inquisiti 
cur in lingua Slavica divina celebrarent et non in Latina, Ro- 
manus Pontifex permisit, ut lingua Slavica celebranda laudaretur 
Deus, qui mos ad tempora mea, (1506^) circa Cracoviam in 
ecclesia Sanctce Cruets observatus, sed jam extinctus ej/.— Mai- 
thaeus de Miechow, in lib* i. cap. 13. 


caused by his fear that, in the pending contest 
between himself and the Greek patriarchs, the 
Slavonian missionaries might, in case of refusal, 
withdraw their obedience from the Roman pontiff 
and transfer it to his opponent. Be this as it 
may, Cyrillus and Methodius (who became arch- 
bishop of Moravia) continued all their lives. to 
propagate the Gospel, ordaining priests, and ad- 
ministering sacraments according to the rites of 
the oriental church, and performing divine service 
in the vernacular tongue, notwithstanding many 
obstacles they were obliged to overcome in follow- 
ing that wise course. 

These holy men limited not their apostolical ^p*"^^®"*^ 
labours to Moravia, but extended them to other 
Slavonian countries. They completed the con- 
version of Bohemia in 871, and introduced there 
the Slavonian worship, which lasted in that 
country till 1094, when it was entirely abolished 
by the influence of Rome.* It is even supposed 
that they themselves visited Poland, and there is 
no doubt that their disciples were very active in 
that country .f 

* Vide Palacky's Geschickte von Bohmen. The Slavonian 
sacred books were destroyed by the Romanists. 

f " Qiii nosper beatos Pontifices et confessores tuos, noslrosque 
patronos Cyrillum et Methodium ad unitatem Fidei Chnstiance 
vocare dignatus es." Officia patronorum regni Pokmice, Antver- 
pUe, 1637. These words seem to imply that Methodius and 
Cyrillus were chiefly instrumental in converting Poland. The 



We have in our history a legend of king Piast, 
who founded a dynasty which reigned in Poland 
till the middle of the fourteenth, and continued 
to rule in Silesia and Pomerania as late as the 
seventeenth century. 

It is said that this Piast, a common farmer and 
wheelwright, lived near Krusvitza, the ancient 
capital of Poland, and was renowned for his 
virtues, and particularly his great hospitality. — 
One day, when he was sitting with his wife before 
the door of his cottage, two angels in the disguise 
of travellers presented themselves to request his 
hospitality. Piast received with the utmost 
kindness the strangers, who in departing made 
themselves known to their host, and predicted his 
speedy elevation to the throne of his country. 
Soon after the reigning family became extinct, 
and Piast was elected monarch by general accla- 
mation, as the most virtuous of his nation. 
We are strongly inclined to suppose, that those 
angels were no others than Christian missionaries, 
who on account of their doctrines, so much above 
the morals of the idolaters, were considered by 
them as beings of a nature superior to humanity. 
We are confirmed in this opinion by the simple 
statement of an early chronicler,* who plainly 

diocese of Przemysl, in Austrian Poland, honours till the present 
day Methodius and Cyrillus as the founders of the Christian 
religion in those parts. 
* Martin Gallus. 


calls them strangers (hospes), without observing 
any thing marvellous and supernatural in their 
appearance. It may be that tJtiey were the 
identical Cyrillus and Methodius, who in their 
apostolical peregrinations could have been easily 
induced to visit a man enjoying a high reputation 
in the country. 

We trust that our readers will pardon us this 
digression into the land of romantic tradition, 
and we again return to facts averred by the most 
credible records of those times. 

The extraordinary success with which the Causes of the 
apostolical zeal of Cyrillus and Methodius was success which 

jj j^i -J T /» jt Ti^ attended their 

rewarded, and the rapid spreadmg of the light apostolical la- 
ofthe Gospel amongst the Slavonian nations, is 
chiefly to be attributed to the really Christian 
spirit in which those conversions were effected. 
No self-seeking motives of worldly interest seem 
to have tainted their evangelical labours. They 
never sought to make Christianity a tool for 
political ends, by perverting the sublime precepts 
which the Gospel inculcates about meekness, 
patience, and forbearance, into the abject doctrines 
of an unconditional submission to the abhorrent 
yoke of invading foreigners. But it was quite the 
reverse with the German missionaries, who made 
sundry attempts to convert the adjacent Slavoni- 
ans ; they always made Christianity subservient 
to political purposes ; and the German missiona- 
ries preached the word of God to clear the way 


for the domination of the emperors. All Slavonian 
countries, which have been converted by western 
missionaries, fell entirely under the political 
influence of the Germans, who eradicated with ah 
unceasing hostility the language and institutions 
of those countries; whilst those strongholds of 
nationality sacred to every people that has not 
reached the lowest pitch of degradation, were left 
untouched by Cyrillus and Methodius. This 
circumstance suflSciently accounts for the great 
success of those pious and liberal missionaries, as 
well as explains the obstacles generally met by 
the German clergy, whose conversions amongst 
the Slavonians were almost synonymous with 

* Lest we might incur the accusation of having been carried 
away by our Slavonian feelings, we will support what we have 
advanced by the evidence of the Germans themselves : — ^< Au* 
divi cum veracissimus rex Danorum sermocinando repUcaret^ 
populos Slavonorum jam dudum procul duhio facile converti posse 
ad Ckristianitatem nisi Saxonum obstitisset avaritia; quibus, 
inquit mens pronior est ad pensiones vectigalium quam ad conver- 
sionem geniilium. Nee attendunt miseri quantum suae cupiditatis 
luant periculum^ qui Ckristianitatem in Slavonia primo per 
avaritiam turbaverunt, deinde per crudelitatem subjectos ad rebel' 
landum coegerunt, et nunc salutem eorum qui credere vellent, 
pecuniam solam exigendo contemnant. Adami Bremensi, Hist. 
Eccles. lib. iii. cap. 25. Dux Bemhardus gentem Winulorum 
per avaritiam crudeliter bpprimens ad necessitatem Paganismi 
coegit, Helmoldi chronicon Slavonorum, lib. i. c. 19. Slavi servi- 
tutis jugum armata manu submoverunty tantaque animi obstinatia 
libertatem defender e nisi sunt utprius voluerint morij quam Chris- 



After the final separation of the Eastern from 
the Western church, the Popes became even more 
anxious than before to extirpate amongst the 
Slavonians the worship in the national language 
and the communion of two kinds, which they held 
in common with the Greeks* The Synod of 
Salona, held in 1060, declared Methodius an 
heretic, and the Slavonian alphabet a diabolical 

tianitatis titulum resumere aut trihuta solvere Scuxonorum 
principibus*' — Hist. 1. i. chap. 25. The complaint addressed 
by the Bavarian bishops to Pope John the IXth against the 
independence of Moravia from their spiritual jurisdiction 
breathes a most unevangelical spirit : " Sive veltnt sive nolint 
regno nostro subjecU erurU" They say of the Moravians^ whose 
attachment to the scriptures and the worship in the national 
language they represent as a relapse into paganism, ** incessante 
corda eorum diabola Christianiiatem abhorrere cosperunt" Vide 
Palacky's Geschichte, v. B6hmen> lib. i. pp. 153 and 200. This 
persecution exterminated at last all vestiges of Slavonianism in 
many countries which were conquered by the Germans. Thus 
in Pomerania, the isle of Rugen, Mecklenburg, the March of 
Brandenburg, and some parts of Saxony^ which were formerly 
inhabited by Slavonians, their language is entirely superseded 
by the German. There are traces that the Slavonian language 
was used in official acts in the country about Leipsic as late as 
the beginning of the fourteenth century. The lastitidividual who 
spoke Slavonian in Pomerania died 14i04« In Lusatia the Slavo^ 
nian language is still pireserved, and is spoken at a distance of 
twenty English miles from Dresden. Many towns in the north- 
eastern part of Germany haye names evidently derived from the 
Slavonian, whilst many othere^ have two names, one Slavonian 
and another German, being generally either a translation or a 
corruption of the first, 

VOL. I, C 


inv^ition. However, in spite of all the Papal 
efforts, those privileges could never be com- 
pletely eradicated. There is, indeed, sufficient 
historical evidence to prove, that although the 
generality of the Slavonian churches conformed 
to the Roman ritual, the national liturgy, some- 
times in opposition, and sometimes with the 
connivance of Rome, continued to maintain itself 
a long time in many parts of Bohemia, Moravia, 
The national Silcsia, and Poland. The reformation of Huss, 
res^ttheB^ai ^^ which hereafter we shall amply speak, derived 
srvJiS^siavo* its greatest support from the spirit of indepen- 
nian countries. ^^^^^ preserved by the traditional attachment to 

those national churches. But it would exceed the 
compass of the present work if we should trace 
those sacred remains in all the Slavonian lands, 
and we must therefore limit ourselves to the 
country which is the immediate object of our 
present researches. 
Traces of their At the time wheu Methodius and Cyrillus 
Poland. were presiding over the churches of great Moravia, 

the south-western part of Poland, which after- 
wards constituted the province called little Poland, 
formed a part of that mighty empire. The diocese 
of Velegrad, capital of Moravia, of which Metho- 
dius was the first archbishop, extended as far as 
the banks of Styr, a river flowing in the present 
government of Volhynia. It was therefore a 
natural consequence that Christianity, according 
to the rites established in Moravia, was likewise 


preached in those parts of Poland, where it was at 
the same time propagated from the adjacent 
dominions of the Byzantian empire. This cir- 
cumstance naturally leads to the conclusion, that 
the national, or Slavonian worship, was for some 
time prevalent in a great part of Poland, before 
it was overwhelmed by the growing influence of 
pure Romanism. All the information we have on 
this interesting subject is derived from Roman 
Catholic and ecclesiastical writers, and is, con- 
sequently, in general strongly biassed against 
every thing which assumed a kind of opposition 
to the uniform rule of the Papal sway. But, 
however scanty and imperfect is the information 
about this subject which we have been able to 
collect from various sources, it is sufficient to 
establish the fact, that the above-mentioned 
national churches have during a long time 
existed in Poland. 

The chronicles positively state that in the t 
year 949, the Moravians founded at Kleparz, in 
the environs of Cracow, the church of St. Cross, 
and it is well known that they preserved at that Efforts of 
time the liturgy in the national language. Queen to promote di- 
Hedvige of Anjou (1399), whose piety, virtues, and reH^ourTnt" 
personal endowments have rendered her memory Sd lan'-''' 
an object of veneration to the Poles, was a great ^^^' 
promoter of the national liturgy. Amongst many 
pious and useful establishments, she founded the 

Benedictine college of St. Cross, called ^Collegium 

c 2 


fratrum Slavonum,' or college of the Slavonian 
brethren.* In that college divine service was 
performed in the vernacular tongue, as is evident 
from the books of liturgy which were employed 
there, and which are still extant ; and our cele- 
brated historian Dlugosz, who lived in the latter 
part of the fifteenth century, went often there 
to enjoy the beautiful anthems cbaunted in the 
national language. The scriptures, at least a 
great part of them, the lives of the fathers of 
the church, the revelations of St. Bridget, some 
homilies, and the productions of many other 
sacred authors (plurimorum aliorum)^ were 
translated for the use of that pious queen, who 
was a diligent reader of those religious works.f 
The preference of Queen Hedvige for the lan- 
guage of the country submitted to her rule is 
the more remarkable, by her being born and 
bred in Hungary till the age of fifteen. Her 
father, Louis the great of Hungary, although he 
was king of Poland during the term of twelve 
years, visited that country only twice. Being 
principally engaged in Italy by his wars with the 
Venetians, and the affairs of the celebrated Joan 

* It is impossible to ascertain whether this college was a 
renovation of the Moravian church of the same name, or an 
entirely new establishment. It may be that it received its 
name in commemoration of the church c^ St. Cross^ founded in 
the tenth century, to which we have just alluded. 

t Dlugosz, lib. X. 


queen of Naples, who was married to his bro- 
ther Andrew, his court was rather Italianized, 
and certainly the least Polish : still we see his 
daughter displaying a fond attachment to all that 
belonged to her adopted country. Her exemplary \ 
piety was guided by her superior understanding, 
and she easily preceived that religion cannot exert 
its blessed influence over the minds of men, 
unless its august ceremonies are performed, and 
its beneficial precepts proclaimed in a language 
intelligible to the nation at large. Yet, however 
her mind might have been enlightened, it is not 
probable that she would have ventured on what 
would be considered as a daring innovation, if 
there was not sufficient precedent to justify 
such proceedings in a queen, whose piety and r 
orthodoxy never were impugned. The learned «^^®"^l^i 
Siarczynski, one of our most eminent antiquarians, i»c authors, 

•' ^ about the exis- 

broadly asserts, that till the fourteenth century tence of the 

national wor- 

the worship in the national language was very ship in Poland. 
common in Poland.* His deep research and 
sound criticism render his evidence highly 
credible, whilst his known character of a zealous 
Roman Catholic priest raises this evidence above 
every suspicion of partiality. The reverend Ju- 
szynski, also a Roman Catholic clergyman, and 
well known for his extraordinary erudition and 

* Czasopism Lwofvski (Chronicle of Lemberg), a literary 
periodical^ 1828. 


acute criticism, entirely agrees with this opinion ; 
he moreover adds on unquestionable authority, 
that the reformers of the sixteenth century have 
adopted for the use of their disciples many can- 
ticles of the ancient Polish national churches. 
He likewise states that Martin Tromba, archbishop 
of Gnezno, who took a prominent part at the 
council of Constance, and who was a great advo- 
cate of the national worship, ordered the books 
of liturgy to be translated into Polish. Copies of 
that translation were preserved in the library 
Zalusky, which has been carried away to Pe- 
tersburg after the fall of Poland in 1794. He 
also assures us that before 1500 Polish breviaries 
were frequently used.* We have quoted the 
opinion of those two eminent writers, instead of 
adducing proofs scattered amongst sundry chroni- 
cles, which would have been tedious and unin- 
teresting for the English reader. We might 
likewise adduce the Polish canticle known under 
the name of its author, Przeworczyk, composed 
about 1430-40 ; but it is very likely that the above- 
mentioned book owes its origin to the Hussite 
doctrines, which were at that time widely spread 
in Poland. We will only add that Wapowski, 
an author of the sixteenth century, says : " the 
national worship has been only recently lost 

* Introduction to the Biographical Dictionary of Polish Poets^ 
in Polish. 


amongst us, and it is an undoubted fact that it was 
performed at least in one place as late as the 
beginning of the sixteenth century.* 

Tliese churches preservins: the worship in the influence of 

*^ *^ * these churches 

vernacular lan&:uaffe, may be considered as so on the political 

11.11., 1 . . 1 . 1 relations of the 

many strong-holds, behmd which the national country and 
spirit was ensconced, not only against the conti- i 
nual encroachments of Romanism, but also against 
those of Germanism. The influence of Germany 
invariably tending to the establishment of the 
feudal system, was certainly no less destructive to 
the national institutions ^ of the Slavonians than 
that of Rome, which constantly sought to mould 
all nations into one uniform system of its eccle- 
siastical polity. It is undoubtedly owing to that 
spirit that we see in Poland a constant opposition 
to the unlimited supremacy of Rome. This op- 
position, excepting the peculiar case of some sects, 
to be hereafter mentioned, was however limited 
to the outward forms of worship, the church 
discipline, as well as the immunities of the church, 
and the supremacy which the clergy claimed to 
maintain over the laity, whilst the incomprehen- 
sible mysteries of religion, and its abstruse 
dogmas, were left untouched. It was a struggle 
between the ecclesiastical and temporal powers, — ? 
a contest between the Roman Catholic unity and 
the national independence. This last was defended 

Vide note, p. 12. 



Influence of 
the German 
Emperors on 
Poland at the 
time of the 
baptism of its 
duke M ie- 

not only by monarchs jealous of a foreign authority 
intermeddling with their own, but also by the 
nobles, who eyed with suspicion the ascendancy 
of the clergy, considering it as a competition 
dangerous to their own influence. But not only 
the laity seems to have been animated by that 
national spirit, we even see the clergy themselves, 
though acknowledging the Pope as the head of 
the Catholic church, still frequently opposing his 
authority on many points, and particularly the 
celibacy of the priests — an ordinance to which the 
clergy in Poland submitted with more reluctance 
than in any other country. We shall now give 
our readers a sketch of the struggle which, by 
weakening the authority of Rome in our coun- 
try, powerfully contributed to the subsequent 
progress of the reformation ; and we begin by 
briefly delineating the relations which existed in 
Poland, between the ecclesiastical and temporal 
powers, since the establishment of the Chris- 
tian religion to the reformation of the sixteenth 

If the baptism of Mieczyslaw, the first Chris- 
tian monarch of Poland, in 965, may be attributed 
to worldly motives, we think that he was prompted 
to perform such an important act rather by poli- 
tical considerations than by his attachment to 
the Bohemian princess Dombrovka, as it is 
related by the chronicles. We know that he was 
tributary for a part of his dominions, to the 


Emperor Otton the first,* to ensure whose friend- 
ship he might have been easily induced to era- 
brace the Christian religion. It was probably 
owing to that circumstance that Christianity, ac- 
cording to the Roman rites observed in Germany 
and not according to the national liturgy prac- 
tised in Moravia, was established as the dominant 
religion in Poland. 

The conversion of the Polish idolaters was Resistance of 
however not an easy task. According to our laters to the 
historian Dlugosz, the people were exceedingly of Christianity. 
reluctant to part with their idols, which 

* Although many of our historians endeavour to prove that 
the Polish dukes did never acknowledge the supremacy of the 
Romane mperors, we are obliged to dissent from their opinion 
on this subject, as the contemporary writer Dittmar of Merse* 
burg positively states that Mieczyslaw paid homage to the Em- 
peror Otton III, at Quedlinburg in 984; besides the fact that 
he sent a contingent of Polish troops to join the Imperial armies. 
This matter has been thoroughly investigated in Friese's 
Kircheri'geschichte von Poland, vol. i. We think that it is a 
very mistaken idea of patriotism, to endeavour to conceal 
or to explain away facts broadly stated by credible annalists ; 
and we have always, in the course of this work, adhered to 
what we have believed to be true, even when those truths 
were most unpalatable to our Polish feelings. The vassalage 
of the Polish sovereigns to the Emperors was, however, of a 
very short duration, and of the same nature as that which 
bound the English monarchs to the kings of France for their 
possessions in that country. It ceased under the reign of Bole* 
Slav, the first king of Poland (992—1025). 


Mieczyslaw, after his conversion » ordered to be 
destroyed throughout his dominions.* 

The same author says, that in the year 980, 
fifteen years after the conversion of Mieczyslaw, 
half of Poland still adhered to its ancient idola- 
try. It was in the reign of this monarch that 
the first bishopric in Poland, Poznania, was 
erected, and subject to the archiepiscopal see of 
Mayence, but afterwards transferred to the juris- 
diction of the archbishop of Magdebourg. Mie- 
czyslaw was succeeded in the year 972 by his 
son Boleslav the first, surnamed the brave, who 
was even more zealous than his father in extirpat- 
ing the remains of paganism. The means which 
he employed for that purpose were more in unison 
with the barbarity of that age, than congenial to 
the spirit of the Gospel. The reign of that mo- 
narch was illustrated by many victories : but these 
belong to the political history of our country , 
and we must limit our narration to such facts as 

* ^'IngemescerUibus et iUachrymantihus" says Dlugos2^ speak- 
ing of the common people; but opposition was also experienced 
from the higher classes : '*plures Polonorum proceres in suscipienda 
Jide Christiana, dissentientes graviter adversabantur, dicentes non 
esse honum postponfsre commoda pdtemarum traditionum ; nones 
sectas, adkuc insolitce, libera coUa submittere." Dlugosz lib. ii. 
The last words of this passage seem to imply, that the opposition 
which the establishment of the Roman Catholic church met in 
Poland, originated not only from religious^ but also from political 


have an immediate connexion with our present 

subject. We shall only add, that Boleslav united ^Jui'tefwUh 
under his domination the south-western part of ^»8 dominions 

*^ a part of grand 

Poland, which had formed successively a part of Moravi^where 

•' * the national 

grand Moravia and Bohemia, and where, as we worship was 

, . . , . . , established by 

have already said, Christianity, with a national Cyruius and 

-, , Methodius. 

liturgy and the rites of the oriental church, was 
introduced by Methodius and Cyrill. This cir- 
cumstance has naturally led to the spread of the 
above-mentioned liturgy and rites in other parts 
of Poland, where undoubtedly many missionaries 
from Moravia and Bohemia were employed, on 
account of their knowledge of the national tongue, 
in converting the idolaters. The influence of the influence 
Moravian church, which followed the Greek ^mstanc^^h^s 
ritual, has left several traces in Poland, of which ^J^^tteTted 
the most important is, that fasts according to the ceptHf ^T 
precepts of the Eastern church were observed in chureh observ- 
Poland as late as the year 1248, when their ^hi^h^of^Pol 
severity was mitigated by Rome.* ^^^^ 

About the year 1000, Emperor Otton the third ^^"^^'^^ 
came to Poland, on a pilgrimage to the shrine ?"Y®« *£ ^^ 

' r o o ^ land, confers on 

of Saint Adalbert at Gniesno, then the capital of Boiesiav the 

' ^ ^ first, duke of 

Poland : a pilffrimage, the object of which was no Poland, the 

* ^ royal dignity, 

— — — — as well as all 

the rights pos- 
* Legatus Jacobus Leodicensis Arckidiaconus convocata Wra- sessed by tlie 

tislaviam Synodo EpUcoporum, relojcavit tunc Polonis et Silesiis I^^^J^i^^ 

partem jejuniiy quod est solenne ante Pascha^ nam cum id totis matters. 

novem hebdomadis a Dominica ex ritu GrcBcorum^vulgo servarent 

in, dulsit ut jejunii more Romano deinceps perageretur, anno 

1248. Hardouin apud Somersberg, ii. 253. 


less political than devotionaL Bolesliav received 
his illustrious guest with great pomp and ho- 

The emperor repaid Boleslav's hospitality by 
investing him with the royal dignity, and by con- 
ferring upon him at the same time the power of 
exerting, not only in Poland but also in the 
pagan countries which he had either already 
conquered . or might hereafter conquer, all the 
rights which belonged to the emperors in eccle- 
siastical matters. From this we may infer that 
the above-mentioned rights, if not actually exert- 
ed by the emperors in Poland, were at least 
claimed by them. 

This celebrated interview with the emperor is 
an important circumstance, as it must have con- 
tributed to the oppression of the national liturgy, 
by increasing the preponderance of Romanism, 
supported by Germany. Numbers of monks, 
blindly devoted to Rome, flocked under this reign 
Un&vourabie to Poland from the western part of Europe, and 

effects of this . , ^ , 

circumstance it appears that the monasteries were at that time 

on the national , ^ i • i i i i /» • i 

churches. almost exclusively peopled by foreigners, who 

being naturally adverse to all that was national 
and local, strove to extirpate the liturgy in the 
vernacular tongue, which they did not understand, 

* Dittmar of Merseburg, who accompanied the emperor on 
his pilgrimage, gives a detailed description of the reception 
which he met from Boleslav^ and which was very splendid. 


and called a barbarian language. Boleslav conti- 
nued his severe measures against the opponents of 
the Christian religion, and they produced violent 
commotions, which he succeeded however in quel- 
ling. After his death, in the year 1025, his son, 
Mieczyslaw the second, being entirely governed 
by his queen Rixa, a niece to the Emperor Otton 
the third, rendered himself particularly obnoxious 
to his subjects. His reign was agitated by con- 
stant revolts, and it seems that the prevalent 
cause of discontent was the tithes which the 
clergy exacted from the new Christians. After 
bis death, in 1034, his widow Rixa assumed the 
regency during the minority of her son Casimir the 
first. She had been always very unpopular, and 
under her regency the discontent rose to such a 
degree, that she was compelled to leave Poland, 
and to retire with her son to Germany. The re- Pagan reaction 
volted party abolished Christianity and royalty, nority of casi- 

11. jii-11 • i*i ^^^ ^® first. 

and havmg re-established paganism, proclaimed 
Maslav, the leader of the revolt, ruler of the coun- 
try, but without a royal or even ducal title. This 
event may perhaps be considered not only as the 
last struggle of idolatry against Christianity, but 
also as a contest of the spirit of popular or re- 
publican assemblies, which governed the ancient 
Slavonians, against the monarchical form, which 
seems to be of a more recent date, and introduced 
into Poland from Germany. The clergy were 
detested, particularly on account of being chiefly. 



It is sup- 
pressed, and 
paganism dis 
appears from 

Quarrel be- 
tween king Bo- 
lesla? the 
Dauntless and 
bishop of Cra- 

as we have already said, foreigners, and their 
morals, according to contemporary writers, were 
in a very low state. The country continued many 
years in a very distracted condition, till the na- 
tion being wearied of anarchy, and the Christian 
party having regained the ascendancy, young 
Casimir was recalled to the throne, and received 
with great joy. He justified the expectation of 
his subjects, and his wisdom soon re-established 
order in the country, and healed the wounds in- 
flicted by long troubles. With the death of his 
opponent Maslav, who was taken and executed, 
the pagan party disappeared for ever from 

We now arrive at one of the most important 
events that have occurred in the early part of the 
history of Poland, the quarrel between Boleslav 
the second, surnamed the Dauntless, and the 
bishop of Cracow, Stanislav Szczepanowski. This 
memorable event, which ended with the death of 
Szczepanowski in the year 1078, is related by 
Dlugosz, the most reputed of our early historians, 
as having taken place under the following cir- 
cumstances : " King Boleslav the Dauntless, elat- 
ed by constant success and corrupted by his 
long residence at Kiiov, then capital of Russia, 
celebrated for its riches and the refined luxuries 
of Byzantium, became overbearing, violent, and 
dissolute in his manners. Stanislav Szczepa- 
nowski, bishop of Cracow, boldly reprimanded 


the disorderly conduct of the sovereign, who, in- 
censed at the prelate's manly behaviour, murdered 
him with his own hands at the foot of the altar. 
Pope Gregorius the Seventh excommunicated the 
sacrilegious monarch, who was obliged . to leave 
his throne and his country, and died an exile in 
Hungary." This is the substance of an account 
which was repeated by all other historians, Polish 
as well as foreign.* However, the acute criticism 
of some modern writers has thrown on that im- 
portant subject quite a different light from that 
in which it had hitherto been represented. There 
is certainly no doubt that the bishop was depriv- 
ed of life, and the king compelled to leave his 
throne and dominions, but the circumstances 
under which those important historical facts were 
accomplished seem to have been quite different 
from those which had obtained general credence. 

We may consider the quarrel between Boleslav ! Reasons to 

^, , believe that it 

the Dauntless and Stanislav Szczepanowski as was originated 

, , from other mo- 

a contest between the temporal and spiritual tives than those 

- . - . • J -, /.to which it has 

powers, which then agitated many parts of been generally 
Europe. It must be remarked that the Polish 
monarchs derived the royal dignity from the 
Emperors, and not from the Popes, who were 

* This account is so universally received that we thought 
ourselves obliged to follow it in the historical introduction 
which we have prefixed to our translation of the Court of 
Sigismund Augustus, or Poland in the sixteenth century. 


reluctant to acknowledge that title.* We may 
therefore easily suppose that, during the dis- 
putes which existed between the Popes and the 
Emperors, the kings of Poland embraced the part 
of the latter, from whom they also derived the 
right of distributing ecclesiastical preferment in 
their dominions. Boleslav was jealous of the 
rights of his nation as well as of those of his crown. 
He prohibited the bestowment of church pre- 
ferment on foreigners, who at that time almost 
entirely engrossed the ecclesiastical benefices ; and 
he imposed on the estates of the clergy the same 
duties and services as on those of his other sub- 
jects. The first of these measures necessarily 
offended the court of Rome, always eager to feed 
its creatures with rich benefices in every country 
subject to its spiritual dominion. The second of 
these regulations, entrenching on the material 
interests of the clergy, was still more calculated 
to render the king odious to that formidable body. 
However, Boleslav's power was such that the 
clergy submitted to those ordinances : but an op- 
position was soon raised, not only by the clergy 
but also by the principal nobles, against the mo- 
narch, who, as it seems, was not only anxious to 
repress the encroachments of the clergy, but also 

* There are no traces that the Popes had given^ at that time^ 
the royal title to the sovereigns of Poland. Gregory the se- 
venth calls (1075) Boleslav the Dauntless only Duke of Poland. 


to check the pretensions pf an aristocracy which, 
growing on the ruin of the ancient popular insti- 
tutions of the Slavonians, was weakening the unity 
of the sovereign's power'. Szczepanowski seems to 
have been the head, the personification of that party, 
in defending which he paid the forfeit of his life. 

There is sufficient reason to believe that the 
death of Szczepanowski was the consequence of 
a judicial decree. The circumstance of his head 
being chopped off after his death, and his body 
cut into pieces, seems to imply that he was con- 
demned to a punishment not uncommon in that 
barbarous age, and executed according to that 
decree, instead of being the victim of a sudden 
ebullition of royal anger. The evidence of the 
early chronicles respecting that memorable trans- 
action is very unsatisfactory. That of Martin Cal- 
lus, in whose time the event was quite recent, is by 
no means favourable to the Bishop;* and the re- 
lation of Kadlubek, who wrote in the thirteenth 
century, seems to have been added in more modern 
times-t Dlugosz, who considers Szczepanowski as 

* ^071 dehuit Christianus in Christianum pecccUum quod libet 
corporaliter vindicare : pro traditione pontificem truncatione ment'- 
brarum adhihuit. Neque traditorem Episcopum excusamus, Sed 
hac inmcedio deseramus. Mart. Gallus^ cap. 27. We think that 
the guilt of Szczepanowski is clearly established by this pasage 
of an almost contemporary writer, who considers him not as a 
martyr, but who, being a clergyman, reluctantly touches that 
important event. 

f Sarnicki, an author of the sixteenth centuiy, speaking of 
YQL, I, D Szczepanowski's 


a saint and a martyr, quotes many accusations by 
which Boleslav endeavoured to justify his act. 
The same author reports, with pious indignation, 
that very many supposed at that time the bishop 
to be a traitor and a profligate, who was deserv- 
edly punished for his crimes,* This last circum- 
stance proves at least that the King was supported 
by a strong party amongst the nation disbelieving 
the righteousness of Stanislav Szczepanowski, who 
received the honours of canonization a long time 
afler his death.f Boleslav was compelled to 
leave his throne and his country, and retired into 
Hungary with his infant son Mieczyslaw ; but we 
think that it was the united influence of the 
aristocracy and the clergy which drove him 
from Poland, and not the excommunication of 
Gregory the Seventh, which seems to have never 

Szczepanowski's deaths says ; *'Jactum adhuc recens non scrip-- 
sent Kadludek — nee ullam mentionem hujus rei JeceriiJ' — It is 
therefore evident that the relation of the above-mentioned oc- 
currence, which is found in Kadlubek's chronicle^ has been 
added in times posterior to those of Samicki. 

* Pro occasioneunius dementis et (emerarii Episcopi, culpa sua 
necati. The pious Dlugosz relates with a perfect horror those 
popular rumours about his saint, adding some appellations by 
which he was designated^ but which are of too gross a natui'e 
to be quoted without necessity. 

f Stanislav Szczepanowski was canonized 1254 ; but it wa» 
only about the end of the sixteenth century that Sigismund the 
Third, king of Poland, obtained for him the honours of a uni- 
versal worship. 


taken place, as there is no bull to that purpose 
in the collections of Papal decrees. We think 
that if such an important fact, and a precedent 
so favourable to the supremacy which the Roman 
see claimed over the monarchs of Christendom, 
had really occurred, it is quite improbable that it 
should be omitted in the Papal records.* — We 
have perhaps expatiated too long on this event, 
which bears so strong a resemblance to the 
history of Thomas k Becket. We have done so 
because we consider this transaction not as a 
fortuitous occurrence produced by the violence of 
passion, but as the result of a struggle between 
the national party, remembering still the ancient 
liberties of the Slavonians, and the new but grow- 
ing influence of the aristocracy united with that 
of the Roman church. This influence must have 
been already very strong, if it could obtain such 
a triumph over a monarch who had acquired great 
glory by his warlike achievements, and who 
seems to have been popular with the inferior 
classes of the nation. The part which the aristo- 
cracy took in the deposition of Boleslav is sufli- 
ciently evident from the fear they entertained 
of his son Mieczyslaw. This prince, who is 
described as the idol of the common people, com- 
pelled his uncle, Vladislav Herman, to divide 

* This is not to be found either in Baronius's Ecclesiastical 
Annals, or \» Coquelini's BuUarium. 

D 2 


with him the sovCTeign authority; but the youthful 
son of Boleslav the Dauntless was soon poisoned 
by some grandees, who were afraid he might seek 
to avenge the wrongs of his father.* 

The abrogation of several enactments of Boles- 
lav the Dauntless by his brother,! as well as 
the modification which the constitution under- 
went under the reign of Vladislav Herman, give 
an additional proof of what we have advanced 
about the hostility of the aristocracy against 

Boleslav 4 
Consequences Xhc asceudaucv of the clergy was established 

of BoIe8lav*s -^ ^-^ 

expulsion from bv the cxpulsiou of Bolcslav the Dauntless. The 

the throne of * 

Poland. reign of his brother, Vladislav Herman, being the 

consequence of the triumph which the church 

* The almost contemporary Martin Gallus describes the 
death of the young M ieczyslaw, or Mieshko^ in the following 
affecting words : ^'Emulat, timentes ne ptUris injuriam vindicaret 
veneno puerum peremisse. Mortuo Mescone tola Polonia tugehctt. 
Rustici aratra, pastores pecora deserehani ; artifices studia^ ope- 
raiores opera postponebatU, servi insuper et ancilltB, Nullvus regis 
vel principis exUium tarn diutumo moerore conclamatum" This, 
we think^ sufficiently proves that the memory of Boleslav the 
Dauntless was popular itmongst the lower classes, who lamented 
the death of the young Mieczyslaw^ whom they expected to 
become the avenger not only of the wrongs of his father, but 
also of their own. 

f Nonnulajratris sui decreta retractans et ad melioremformam 
reducens. Dlugosz^ ad annum 1083. 

J Prelati et Barones Polonia Jbnnando novum statum reipub- 
lias. Math, de Miechow^ cap. B. 


had gained over the state, could not be but favour- 
able to the increase of sacerdotal influence. 
Vladislav was succeeded by his son Boleslav the 
Third, or Wrymouth, a monarch celebrated for his 
victories, and for the conquest and conversion of 
Pomerania, which he had accomplished. His 
reign seems to have been favourable to the clergy ; 
at least, he always kept on good terms with that 
powerful body. The example of his uncle Bo- 
leslav the Dauntless was too recent, and by no 
means inviting, to be imitated. This sovereign. Division of 
who died in the year 1139, completely marred separate^pnn. 

xi_ /r i. /» 1 J • i» cipalities by 

the eflrects of a long and prosperous reign by Boiesiav the 
dividing his dominions between his four sons. Z^meToL 
Internal wars, foreign invasion, and a general JJer"^.^® ®^ *^ 
relaxation of order, were the deplorable but natu- 
ral consequences of such an impolitic measure. 
This state of things, which lasted nearly during 
two centuries, was exceedingly favourable to the 
increase of ecclesiastical power. The sovereign 
authority, divided between many rulers, and wea- 
kened by their constant dissensions, was conti- 
nually declining, whilst the clergy, united into one 
community, promoted their interests with that 
uniformity of design with which every corporate 
body is generally tending towards the attainment 
of the same object. Many princes who reigned 
during that troubled period sought to fortify their 
authority by the influence of the church. It fre- 
quently proved a powerful assistance, but it was 


always purchased, either by rich donations or by 
the concession of new privileges and immunities. 
Yet, notwithstanding all those advantages, the 
authority of the clergy, which swayed during that 
period all western Europe, seems to have been 
very precarious in Poland, where it frequently 
wanted sufficient power to crush the opposition 
of the petty sovereigns who ruled several prin- 
cipalities of that country. 
Synod of f The syuod which was convened at Lenczyca, 

Lenczyca. ^. • i • i /» 

! m the year 1180, is the first assembly of that 
kind in Poland. However, being composed 
not only of ecclesiastical dignitaries, but also of 
princes, and other temporal lords, it may be con- 
sidered rather as a national diet than an ecclesi- 
astical convocation. Its chief enactment was, 
that the sovereign princes should abstain, under 
penalty of excommunication, from appropriating 
to themselves the goods and chattels of deceased 
Vladislav Howcvcr, in spite of that solemnly recognised 

duke of cra- privilege, Vladislav Laskonogi, or Spindleshanks, 
inheritance of dukc of Cracow, 1212-18, scizcd the property of 


bishops. the bishops of Cracow and of Breslau after the 

death of those prelates. Henry archbishop of 
Gniezno, as head of the Polish church, excommu- 
nicated the duke for committing sacrilege. But 
this excommunication, instead of humbling the 
refractory prince, incited him only to a bolder 
opposition: he abrogated in bis dominions all 


the privileges of the clergy, took to himself the .^\?^'^Q^Jf * 
distribution of church preferment, and abolished nions the pri- 

r . . vileges of the 

the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, declaring: the priests clergy, and sub- 
amenable to the ordinary tribunals, and liable to the civu autho- 
the same penalties with the rest of his subjects. " ^* 
Pope Innocent the Third authorized the arch- 
bishop to proclaim a general interdict, should 
Vladislav persist in his violent proceedings* 
Philip bishop of Poznania refused to proclaim 
in his diocese the above-mentioned interdict, and 
was instantly deposed by the Pope. But Vladis- 
lav, contemning the censures of Rome, ejected 
from his see bishop Paul, whom the Pope had 
nomi^ated in lieu of the deposed Philip, and 
increased his severity against those of the clergy 
who resisted his ordinances. TKe Pope nomi- 
nated the bishop of Halberstadt and the abbot 
of the Cistercian monastery de Sychera his com- 
missioners to judge Vladislav, and, in case the 
duke should despise their decree, to confirm the 
solemn excommunication proclaimed against him 
by the archbishop of Gniezno. Vladislav eluded 
the jurisdiction of those commissioners by appeal- 
ing to the Pope. The archbishop of Gniezno went 
himself to Rome in order to further the cause of 
his clergy. He was invested by the Pope with 
new honours : but all his efforts to abolish the 
severe enactments of the duke proved unavailing. 
The clergy felt their weakness, and were obliged 
to arrange their differences with the sovereign 



The clergy 
are obliged to 
submit to bim. 

The church 
recovers its su- 
premacy under 
Vladislay odo- 
nicz and fiole- 
slav Pudicus. 

about tithes. 

through the means of a voluntary agreement, by 
which the ducal treasury became entitled to inhe- 
rit all gold, silver, and every kind of costly fur- 
niture left by the bishops dying intestate. 

The clergy, however, soon resumed their supre- 
macy. Vladislav Odonicz, duke of Grand-Poland, 
conceded (1222) to Henry archbishop of Gniezno, 
by whose assistance he mounted on the ducal 
throne, an immunity of taxation for all the church 
property, and a total exemption of the secular 
jurisdiction to the clergy. Boleslav Pudicus, 
duke of Cracow, not only confirmed all those 
immunities (1279), but augmented them by inves- 
ting the bishops with the privilege of exercising 
in their estates all the rights belonging to a 
sovereign, ^ 

The collection of tithes gave rise also to many 
quarrels between the laity and clergy in Poland. 
Boleslav the Bald, duke of Silesia, desired (1258), 
that the tenth sheaf of corn collected by the 
clergy should be commuted to a pecuniary com- 
pensation. But the clergy, who derived more 
advantage from collecting the tithes in kind than 
they could draw from a payment in money, re- 
fused the proposed commutation, and insisted on 
receiving the tithes in kind, which they claimed 
as their sacred and inviolable right. The duke, 
irritated by the refusal of Thomas bishop of 
Bresli^u to accede to his wishes, imprisoned the 
prelate with one of his canons, and loaded them 


with chains. Fulk archbishop of Gniezno ex- 
communicated Boleslav ; but the duke despised 
his censures. The Pope ordered the archbishops 
of Gniezno and Magdeburg to preach a crusade 
against the refractory prince, but the holy war 
evaporated in hymns chaunted in difierent 
churches against the excommunicated duke. 
The bishop of Breslau, despairing to be released 
from his confinement by the champions of the 
church, purchased his liberty by paying to Boles- 
lav two thousand marks of silver, and by consent- 
ing to the proposed adjustment of tithes. The 
example of such a successful opposition to the 
clergy was imitated by the dukes of Cracow and 
Mazovia, who enforced in their states a similar 
commutation of tithes. Henry the second duke 
of Silesia, and son of Boleslav the Bald, inherited 
his father's jealousy against the clergy. The 
bishop of Boleslav, unable to resist his sovereign, 
called for the assistance of the archbishop of 
Gniezno, who excommunicated duke Henry. 
The claims which the bishop urged against the 
prince must have been at least considered as 
doubtful, because the Franciscans of Breslau 
refused to acknowledge the validity of the ana- 
thema. Encouraged by such a division amongst 
the clergy themselves, Henry banished from the 
city all the priests that were opposed to him. 
The menaces of the Pope remained fruitless ; the 
duke appealed to the council of Lyons, and an 



absolution was granted to him. This absolution! 
however, was not purchased by any concession on 
the part of the duke. After an exile of five years, 
the bishop reconciled his sovereign by consenting 
that the clergy of his diocese should pay a certain 
contribution to the ducal treasury.* 

These conflicts between the clerical and secular 
powers which we have described, and which often 
ended in the triumph of the temporal authority, 
prove the feeble hold which the Papal sway had 
in Poland on the minds of the people; and, 
indeed, it is almost impossible to admit that 
sovereigns, whogovemed only parts of the country, 
should venture on entering so dangerous a 
contest without being supported by the general 
opinion of their subjects. The thunders of the 
Vatican, which shook to the very foundation the 
thrones of western Europe, fell harmless to the 
Reasons why ground in Poland, the inhabitants of which 

the opposition i* i i i i • • i 

to the authority Seemed to care very little about the ecclesiastical 
church was ' ccusurcs. This may be accounted for in a satis* 
Pdand^than in factory manner only by the spirit of independencci 

other countries , 'x* j. j-x* i i_ • • x 

subject to its and opposition to an unconditional submission to 
domination. ^^^ authority of Rome, fostered by the national 

churches, the existence of which we have amply 
described. The worship in the vernacular tongue 
was at that time still very common in our country, 

* Vide Naruszewicz's History of Poland^ vol. v. Math, de 
Miechow, 1. iii. Bzovius^ ad annum 1258. 


and naturally popular with the bulk of the nation, 
who certainly preferred a language with they 
understood, to the empty sounds of a tongue 
unknown to them. The lower clergy, of whom 
many adhered to the above-mentioned mode of 
worship, seem not to have been very eager in 
supporting the cause of Rome, to which the 
higher dignitaries of the church were entirely 
devoted. It appears that neither unbelief nor any 
new doctrine in matters of faith was amongst the 
causes of those frequent contests between the laity 
and clergy, because the opposition carried against 
the church was entirely confined to matters of 
worldly interest ; and we do not see any complaint 
that the tenets of the church were impugned or 
despised by those sovereigns who boldly attacked 
the temporal interests of the clergy . The religious 
sects which appeared in Poland previously to 
the reformation of Huss, and of which we shall 
hereafter speak, were not peculiar to that country, 
and there are no traces of their exerting any in- 
fluence over the rulers of the land, or even on the 
great mass of its inhabitants. 

We must, however, not omit an important cir- 
cumstance which very likely contributed to raise 
throughout the country a strong feeling against 
Rome. In the thirteenth century the knights of St. 
John were called by Conrad duke of Mazovia, in 
order to assist him against the idolaters of Prussia, 
and endowed by the same prince with extensive pos- 



sessions. Those warrior-monks having conquered 
Prussia, and reduced its inhabitants to a state of 
the most oppressive bondage, commenced making 
continual encroachme nts on the frontiers of 
Pgl andi and b ecsmeltsmost formidable enemiek 
V "the universal hatred which those soldier-priests 
and professed defenders of the Papal authority 
to the Poterrieflficted ou tile* 




and this may be one oFthe leading 

auses of that jealousy against the ecclesiasticajl 

fder which the nobility of Poland so strongjy 

ifested in the fourteenth centuryr-TJnder 

■\\. vL— i 

the reign orCaslmff tbe Great (1333-1370), the 
nobility, or, as it was called in Poland, the eques- 
trian order, r aised a violent Q "^pry ^g^»"«^ f^^ 
clergy. The y ^mpl amed thaF the titE^ were 
e^ orEite p^ that the bishops diverted the annates 
j for their own use ; and de sired _thatthe overgrown 
\ extent of the j^ecl giastical jurisdictio n should be 
cwtaflelT The clergy on their side were no less 
loud in inveighing against the equestrian order, 
whom they accused of wantonly withholding the 
payment of tithes, as wellas of an impioiis contempt 
of epcleslasficarceas^res. It is natural to suppose 
thaV^-'SiicirTiwibled times as the fourteenth 
century was, both parties were not guiltless of the 
offences which each of them reciprocally imputed 
to the other. The wisdom and firmness of 
Casimir the Great succeeded in arranging those 
differences, by correcting many abuses on both 


sides ; but his measures suspended only the mutual 
jealousies. The statute of Casimir enacted, that 
if a land-owner did not ask in the course of a 
year to be released from the anathema, his serfs 
were at liberty to leave his dominions and become 
free. Casimir is celebrated for his solicitude about 
the welfare of the agricultural class, by which he 
merited the honourable surname of the peasants' 
king. It was that solicitude, and not any parti- 
ality to the clergy, which induced him to enact the 
above-mentioned law^ because we see him com- 
mitting even an act of great barbarity in defending 
his rights against the clergy. Having imposed 
a tax on the property of the bishop of Cracow, 
Casimir was excommunicated ; but the clergyman 
who ventured to notify the anathema to the king 
was seized and drowned. This act of violence 
produced no consequence whatever, and it is 
probable that the clergy, feeling that they were 
too weak to quarrel with a monarch popular with 
his subjects, hushed up the affair.* Under the 
reign of Casimir's successor^ Lewi& of Anjou^ king 
of Hungary (1370-82,) those differences assumed 
a more fierce character, and the equestrian order, 
who acquired during that reign extensive pri- 
vileges, declared the immunities, which Boleslav 

* Samicku who relates that occurrence^ remarks, in speaking 
of the clergyman's death: ^' Mirum est quod in albwm martyrorum 
wm est relatusJ' 


Pudicus had granted to the clergy in the year 
1279, null and void. 
Disputes be- There are sufficient grounds for believing that 

tweentbe . ... 

Popes and the siucc the earliest period of history the monarchs 

kings of Poland rk i i • i i • 

about the right of Poland exerciscd the right of nominating the 

of nominating , 

bishops, which bishops. We havc seen that the emperor Otton 
piete triumt>h the Third conferred upon Boleslav the First all the 

rights belonging to the emperors in ecclesiastical 
matters. The most important of those imperial 
rights was certainly the nomination of the bishops, 
and it was naturally included amongst those with 
which Boleslav became invested by the emperor. 
We have seen that Boleslav the Dauntless prohi- 
bited the bestowment of ecclesiastical benefices 
upon foreigners. This ordinance, which was car- 
ried into effect without opposition, proves that the 
interference of the monarch in the distribution 
of church preferment was nothing extraordinary ; 
the Popes naturally opposed the sovereign's right 
of nominating the bishops, and the Roman legate 
deposed in Poland (1104) two bishops, as being 
nominated by the king without the consent of 
the Pope.* Pope Paschal the second complains, in 
a letter to Martinus archbishop of Gniezno, 1101, 
that the kings of Poland wantonly transferred the 
bishops from one diocese to another.! Boleslav 

♦ " Nulla summi pontificis authoritate/* says Baronius. 

t Quid super translationibus hquar, qua apud vos, turn an* 



Crispiis duke of Grand Poland nominated, in the 
year 1170, Lupus bishop of Plock; and we see 
no trace that this nomination was opposed. Pope 
Boniface nominated (1391)bishop of Plock an Ita- 
lian named Manfeali. But the Papal nominee had 
not even seen his diocese, being opposed by the so- 
vereign, the equestrian, and even the ecclesiastical 
order.* The Jaguellonian dynasty, which mount- 
ed on the throne of Poland in the latter part of 
the fourteenth century, was by no means inclined to 
favour the pretensions of Rome] The Hussite doc- 
trines, which widely circulated in Poland during 
the fifteenth century, rendered the Papal authority 
almost powerless. A remarkable proof of the 
contempt into which the power of Rome had 
fallen in our country during that period, is exhi- 
bited by the following important circumstance : 
In the year 1460 king Casimir the Third conferred 
the bishopric of Cracow upon a Gruszczynski, 
which the Pope had previously given to aSieninski 

thoritate ApostoUca, sed nutu regis prasumuntur, Naruszewicz^ 
lib. iv. 

* Adversantibus ducibus sacro et equestri ardine* Kromer, 
lib. XV. 

t Martin V. complains (1427 and 1429) to king Vladislaw 
Jaguellon about the violation of ecclesiastical immunities, 
contempt of the spiritual jurisdiction^ and of the rights of the 
Roman see ; representing to the monarch that the Popes alone 
should nominate the Bishops. Vide Raynaldus, ad annum 1429. 


This gave rise to a violent dispute about the 
pre-eminence of the royal authority, and the 
infallibility of the Pope. The king prohibited 
the proclamation of the Breves and the excom- 
munications issued on that occasion by the Pope,^ 
appealed from his judgment to a future council^ 
and outlawed the Papal nominee Sieninski. The 
dean^the prebendary, and some canons of Cracow, 
who had violently taken the part of the Pope, 
were ordered by the king to be conducted out 
of town by public executioners. Casimir likewise 
ordered the suspension of the ecclesiastical tribu- 
nals; and when some clergymen ventured, in 
spite of the royal prohibition, to open a spiritual 
court, they were publicly driven out of Cracow. 
The bishop of Creta, legate of the Pope, admo- 
nished the king to reinstate Sieninski in the 
episcopal see of Cracow : but the king answered, 
" I would rather lose my kingdom." — " It would 
be better that three kingdoms had perished, than 
a single word of the Pope should be brought to 
nought,'* was the haughty retort of the bishop. 
The monarch did not deign to reply to the prelate, 
but he persisted in his resolution, and the words 
of the Pope and his legate were brought to 
nought.* At the diet of Piotrkow ( 1 462) an address 

* Samicki relates that Casimir the Third, being irritated 
against Rome, ordered that every one might resist the eccle- 
siastical decrees, and appeal from them to a future council. 


was got up, requesting the king that be should 
not infringe the authority of the Pope; but 
Casimir replied that he would never permit 
any body to impose bishops on his kingdom. 
One of our best historians, who wrote in the 
sixteenth century, concludes, in reporting the 
above-mentioned transaction, with the following 
simple phrase, "and since that time the king 
chooses the bishops,"* This testimony is suf- 
ficient to prove that Casimir's example became 
a precedent, which was strictly adhered to by 
his successors. We have, besides, sufficient his- 
torical evidence to prove how tenacious the mo- 
narchs of Poland were of the above-mentioned 
right. A remarkable instance of the jealousy 
with which they opposed every encroachment on 
that right occurs in the beginning of the sixteenth 
century, under the reign of Sigismund the First. 
The Pope having assumed to create by himself a 
bishop of Plock, the king instantly rejected the 
papal nominee, declaring "that he never will 
permit to any one to infringe the laws of the 
country and to nominate the senators of the 
realm." When Pope Adrian the Sixth delayed to 
confirm Leszczynski, whom the king' had nomi- 
nated bishop of Poznania, he notified to the 
pontifiT, that his obstinacy in withholding justice 
may be productive of consequences disagreeable 

* Bielski, anno 1463. 



The internal 
state of the 
clergy in Po- 
land, and its 
relations with 
Rome during 
that period, are 
very little 

to the holy father and to the apostolical see. The 
Pope prudently gave way ; and indeed a farther 
resistance on his part would have been not only 
useless, but even dangerous, in a time when the 
Protestant doctrines were rapidly spreading over 

We have now given our readers such details 
as we have been able to collect, about the rela- 
tions which existed in Poland between church 
and state, or laity and clergy. We should be 
glad to have it in our power to convey to them 
some information respecting the internal state of 
the church in Poland and its relations with Rome, 
but the sources of such information are very scan- 
ty, and the ecclesiastical writers, almost the only 
authority whence we may derive some know- 
ledge about that subject, are generally devoted to 
the papal interest. They report the several con- 
flicts which had taken place between the laity 
and clergy as examples of impiety, carefully to be 
avoided by the faithful : but to mention instances 
of the clergy themselves opposing the uncondi- 
tional supremacy of Rome, would have been to 
propagate examples of great scandal, and fraught 
with dangerous consequences. The Protestant 
authors of the sixteenth century, who have writ- 
ten under the influence of polemical excitement, 
have been perhaps too prone to exaggerate every 
circumstance which could corroborate their own 
views. At all events, we dare not rely on their 


sole evidence, lest we may incur the reproach 
of partiality to writers professing our own creed. 
There are, however, some traces in the papal wri- 
ters that the Polish church previously to 1100 
maintained a state of independence from the Ro- 
man see.* 

The papal ordinance which seems to have met Mamage of 
with a more than common resistance from the 
Polish clergy is that which imposed celibacy on 
the priests. This was undoubtedly owing to the 
influence exercised by the national worship, be- 
cause the churches established by Cyrillus and 
Methodius, as well as by their followers, adhered 
to the discipline of the Eastern church, which not 
only allows matrimony to its ministers, but im- 
poses it on them. 

It is well known that the final prohibition of 
marriage to the clergy was made by Gregorius the 
Seventh. We have, however, sufficient historical 
evidence that about 1120 all the priests of the 
diocese of Breslau were married. Sarnicki posi- 

* Paschal the Second^ in addressing the Polish clergy^ in 
the person of the archbishops says : " Significasti Regem et regni 
majores admiraiione permotos quod pallium tibi tali conditione 
oblatumjuerit si sacramentnm jurares" The answer of the Polish 
clergy was : ^'Omne jus jurandum a Christo Deo in evangelio esse 
prohibitum, nee ab ipsis ApostcliSy nee in conciliis inveniri posse 
statutum" Hardouin. vi. 2. Gregorius the Seventh, in his letter 
toBoleslav the Dauntless^ king of Poland (1075), says : "JBpw- 
copi terrcB vestne ultra regulas sunt liberi et absoluti,* 

E 2 



tively states that, about the middle of the twelfth 
century, the Polish clergy were generally married.* 
The evidence of Sarnicki, who was a Protestant, 
may be perhaps objected to ; but Dlugosz, a zea- 
lous Romanist, positively states that marriage was 
common amongst the clergy in Poland at the end 
of the twelfth century.t The synods of Cracow 
and Lubusz, convoked by the influence of the 
Cardinal Peter of Capua, legate of Celestin the 
Third, who arrived in Poland at the end of the 
twelfth century, ordered the clergy to abandon 
their concubines and lawful wives, and severe 
penalties were denounced against the refractory 
priests.J However, it is evident that these me- 
naces did not produce the desired effect, because 
the synod of Gniezno, assembled in 1219, com- 
plains that the former regulations prohibiting the 
clerical marriage, and namely those of the Car* 
dinal Peter of Capua, proved unavailing. The 
same synod decreed that the priests should swear 

* Sarnicki Historia,v. i, 12. 

t *' Complures ea lempettaie (1197) sacerdotes uxorUms velut 
jure legitimo utehantur" — Dlugosz, ad ann. 1197, 

X Dlugosz^ after having described the regulations against the 
marriage of the clergy made through the influence of Cardinal 
Peter, adds : ''Laicis vero quacumque excellentia pollentibus con- 
nubia sua in Jade eccUsice instituit." These words seem to imply 
that many persons had formerly been in the habit of contracting 
marriages without the sanction of the Roman Catholic church. 
Are not the followers of the national worship meant by this ? 


to abandon their concubines and lawful wives. 
It is remarkable that the synod of Piotrkow (1577) 
complains that clergymen of an unsuspected or- 
thodoxy obstinately defended the marriage of the 
There are sufficient grounds to believe that, Religious 

_^ sects. Walden- 

as early as the year 1176, the disciples of Feter sians. 
Valdo, persecuted in the west of Europe, trans- 
ferred their doctrines to Bohemia.t Our his- 
torian Wengierski, who wrote at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century, and who possessed 
many historical documents which afterwards were 
destroyed by time, accident, or the fanaticism of 
the Roman Catholic clergy, positively asserts that 
the Yaldenses spread their dogmas amongst the 
inhabitants of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and 
Poland 4 According to the same historian, those 

* Quoniam nannuli ex sacerdotibus qui in cateris cathoUcos 
se esse prq/Uentur, eo audaiice ac dementice progrediuntur, ut sibi 
uxores ducere licite existiment et de facto nuptias celebrant, — Acta 
Synod Petricov 1577, March 19. 

f Stranski apud TEnfants Candle de Constance. 

X InhisSlavoniaReformata, Amstelodami 1679. Illiricus Flac- 
cus, in his Catalogus Testium Veritatis, says: **pars Faldensium 
in Germaniam transiit atque apud Bohemm, in Polonia ac Livo- 
nia laremjixit'' — Leger, in his Histoire Gen^rale des Eglises 
evang61iques de Valines da Pieraont ou Vaudois, 1669, quotes 
(vol. ii.* page 332), the following words of d'Aubigne : — ''Les 
constantes morts de ces pauvres persecutes^ donnerent vie h cette 



early reformers had established a settlement in the 
vicinity of Cracow ; and that, as late as the year 
1330, the Holy Inquisition in Poland discovered 
that many Poles and Bohemians visited the 
Valdensian churches in Italy, and supported them 
with rich donations. Thuanus states that Peter 
Valdo himself, after having visited the Slavonian 
countries, settled in Bohemia, and the learned 
Perrin adheres to that opinion.* Supposing even 
the tradition of Peter Valdo's wanderings and 
death to be groundless, the very existence of this 
tradition proves that the Valdensian doctrines 
were circulating in those distant lands. At the 
beginning of the twelfth century, when those 
\ doctrines began to be promulgated, the Slavonian 
or national churches existed in great numbers 
throughout Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, and Po- 
land. When we reflect that the above-mentioned 
churches allowed the free use of the scriptures, 
the worship in the vernacular tongue, the com- 

religion, et que les spectacles desfeux et des supplices publics Jurenl 
comme autant des messagers qui lapublierent par toutes les parties 
de VAllemagne et de la Pohgne, qui epouserent cetie doctrine" 
The same author states^ p^e 336-337, on the authority of 
Regnerus and Vignier, that the Waldenses had^ about the year 
1210, churches in Slavonian Sarmatia (Poland) and Livonia. Vide 
also M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Italy, page 4. 

* " Valdus, civitates Vandalicas diu perambulans postremo in 
Bohemia pedem Jixit*^ Thuanus. Histoire des Vaudois par 
Perrin, 223. 



munion of two kinds, and the marriage of priests, 
indulgences prohibited by the papal innovations, 
we may conceive that the precepts of Peter Valdo 
could find an easy access to the followers of those 
national churches. It is well known that the 
Valdensians maintained nearly the same tenets 
that were afterwards triumphantly established by 
the Reformation, and we have many instances 
of similar doctrines having been openly preached 
in Bohemia, and re-echoed in Poland, even 
before the time of Huss. 

The sects of the Flaffellants and of the Fratri- Fiageiiantsand 

^ , , Fratricelli. 

celli, who disturbed Europe during the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, extended also to Poland, 
where they found a great number of adherents. 
But as the above-mentioned sects did not assume 
any peculiar character different from that which 
they exhibited in other countries, we shall not 
give any description of them, which may be 
found in every work relating to the ecclesiastical 
history of those countries.* 

We must, however, not omit a very remarkable ^p^^ Pirnen- 

*^ 81S and his fol- 

occurrence that took place in the fourteenth cen- lowers. 
tury at Breslau, which, although situated in Sile- 
sia, constituted at that time one of the Polish 
dioceses. In the year 134j, a certain John i^ 
Pirnensis began to preach publicly that the Pope 

* Vide vol. iii. of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, English 


was the Antichrist, Rome the great prostitute of 
Babylon and the church of Satan, as well as 
many other similar tenets. His disciples distin- 
guished themselves particularly by their inveterate 
hatred against the clergy. All Breslau seems to 
have embraced for a time this sect. The burgo- 
master himself declared against the Pope and 
the clergy, whilst the doctrines of Pirnensis were 
preached in the streets. The tribunal of the Holy 
Inquisition at Cracow commissioned the Inquisi- 
tor, John of Swidnica (Schweidnitz), to extirpate 
the heresy of Pirnensis, but the inhabitants of 
Breslau rose against the Inquisitor and murdered 
him. Our countryman, the ecclesiastical historian 
Bzovius (Bzowski), reports that he had seen him- 
self, in the year 1607, the garment of the Inqui- 
sitor pierced with knives and imbrued with gore, 
which was preserved as a relic. He also says 
that in that time there was in the archives of 
the Trinity church, in the same city, a manu- 
script containing the doctrines of Pirnensis.* 
This sect, however, disappeared after the death 
of its founder, whose body was, by the orders 
of Rome, disinterred, burnt, and its ashes scat- 
tared to the winds. It is probable that the fol- 
lowers of Pirnensis were afterwards absorbed by 
the Hussites, who spread in great numbers over 
Silesia at the beginning of the fifteenth century. 

* Bzovius^ ad ann. 134>1. 


The limits of our work preclude our entering influence of the 

'^ , " Hussite doc- 

into a detailed description of the rise and progress trines. 
of the Hussite doctrines in Bohemia, and we shall 
only endeavour to trace the influence which they 
exercised in our own country • 

The tradition of the national worship appears 
to have had a stronger hold on the minds of the 
people in Bohemia than in the other Slavonian 
countries, notwithstanding its complete abolition 
in 1174. The latter part of the fourteenth cen- 
tury was favourable to the development of Bohe- 
mian nationality, under the fostering care of the 
Emperor Charles the Fourth, who was a zealous 
promoter of the national language and institutions 
of that country.* This circumstance has proba- 
bly contributed to revive the attachment to the 
national worship of which the communion of two 
kinds was an important part. That the use of 
such communion was not uncommon in Bohemia 
immediately before Huss, is evident from the pro- 
hibition of that communion in 1350, as well as 
from its defence by some learned Bohemians, as, 
Conrad Stekna in 1369, John Milicz in 1374, Antiromanist 


and Mathias de Janowa in 1394, who being the in Bohemia 
confessor of Charles the Fourth, performed divine Huss,and tiieir 

1* J jt •. /"J.! .• 1 influence on 

service accord mg to the rites of the national wor- poiand. 
ship in the imperial chapeL The Pope denounced 

* Charles the Fourth was so partial to the Bohemian language^ 
that he recommends^ in the Golden Bull, the Electors of the 
empire to learn it. 


as heretics the above-mentioned defenders of the 
communion of two kinds, and ordered their im- 
prisonment. Mih'cz and Math, de Janowa sought 
and found refuge in Poland, where they conti- 
nued to preach their doctrines. Pope Gregorius 
the Eleventh ordered (1374) Jaroslav Skotnicki, 
archbishop of Gniezno, to proceed against Milicz 
as one who openly preached heresy, reproaching 
at the same time the supineness and timidity of 
the Holy Inquisition in Poland.* We do not, 
however, see that the papal admonition had 
produced much effect. 

We think that the circumstances which we 
have just related prove that the reformation of 
Bohemia originated in domestic elements, from 
national traditions, and was the effect of the 
development of the national intellect, and that 
Wicliff is unjustly considered as the primitive 
cause of that reformation. Far be from us the 
idea of wishing to diminish the merit of that great 
man, who has given the first formal and decided 
expression to the evangelical truth ; but although 
he undoubtedly gave an impulse to the movement 
which renovated the scriptural doctrines amongst 
the Slavonian nations, he did not create that 

It is well known that the queen of Richard the 

* Friese Beytrage zur Reformations Geschichte, vol. i. 
page 11. Kaynaldus^ ad ann. 1374. 


Second was a Bohemian princess, and that manv influence of 

/-I 1 1 IT 1 . , . ,1 wiciiflF on Bo- 

persons of her household who had accompanied her hemia and po- 

to this country returned after her death to their 
native land, and contributed to spread there the 
opinions of WiclifF. A great intercourse existed at 
that time between the universities of Prague and 
Oxford, and it was nothing uncommon for English 
students to frequent the first of those learned 
establishments, and for the Bohemians to fre- 
quent the latter. There are many grounds to 
believe that Hieronymus of Prague, the fellow 
martyr of Huss,Jy ad spent some time at Oxford. 
The works of WiclifF were the first means of 
spreading the seeds of reformation amongst 
the Bohemians. Huss translated the writings of 
Wicliff, and made his name popular amongst his 

The rapid success which the opinions brought 
forward by Wicliflf, and propagated by Huss, 
obtained in Bohemia, whilst they produced com- 
paratively little effect in England, and none in 

* Hieronymus of Prague is supposed to have returned from 
Oxford about the year 1400. Two Englishmen^ called James 
and Conrad, publicly preached against Rome at Prague in 1404. 
The Dialogus and Trialogus of Wicliff were translated into 
Bohemian by Huss. Two hundred volumes, beautifully written 
and richly bound (pulcherrime conscripta ac bullis aureis, iegu- 
mentisque preciosis ornataj, containing the works of Wicliff 
and Huss, Hieronymus and Milicz^ were burnt by the Catholic 
clergy in 1408. Vide TEnfant, Cochleus de hello Hussilortim, 


Other parts of western Europe, is mainly to be 
attributed to the traditional attachment to the 
national worship, as well as to the hereditary 
hostile feeling which existed between the Slavo- 
nians and the Germans. The Roman hierarchy 
was ever united with German feudalism in op- 
pressing the popular forms of the §Javonian 
institutions, and their national mode of worship. 
This spirit of rivalry was strongly manifested in 
tw"e"n\he^na- the quarrel which took place at the university of 
Gwma^^offo- Prague between the national and German party. 
the^iS^re^ty' The cause of that quarrel was the privilege which 
of Prague. j-jj^ EmpcTOT Charles IVth had conferred on the 

Germans (under which name all the foreigners 
studying at the university of Prague were com- 
prehended). They possessed three votes at all the 
elections of the university, whilst the Bohemians, 
or natives, had only one vote : hence the Germans 
were constantly elected to the academical digni- 
ties, which gave just offence to the Bohemians. 
Huss was on that occasion the leader of the 
national party, and he represented to the king 
that the unjust privilege should be abolished, and 
the custom of the university of Bologna and Paris 
adopted. These two universities, which were 
called by that of Prague its mothers, allowed one 
The national votc to foreigners, whilst they gave three to the 

party, headed , , _ 

by Huss, gains uativcs of the couutry. This demand was granted 
Germans retire by the mouarch ou the 5th October 1409, and it 

produced such discontent amongst the German 


students that they all left Prague, which caused 
the foundation of the university of Leipsic* 

Huss was elected rector of the university after 
the departure of the Germans from Prague, and 
the national party eagerly embraced the religious 
doctrines of its leader ; the anti-Romanist feeling 
being blended with the anti-German. These 
circumstances account for the rapid spread of 
the Hussite doctrines amongst the Slavonians 
of Bohemia and the adjacent countries, as well 
as for their want of success amongst the Ger- 

Poland was at that time intimately connected intimate con. 

y^ ^ \ . nexion of Po- 

with Bohemia : the languages \)f both countries land with bo- 

/ o C7 A hernia during 

were then almos^ the same. The youths of Poland that period. 
generally resoled for their education to the 
university of iWgue, where an jfespecial college 
for them was funded by Queen Hedvige.f 
Huss's character wa §^ hg ld^n great estimation 

* Vide Bellum Hussiticum a Zachario Theohaldo juniore^ 
Fancqforti 1621, pages 6, 7. 

f One of the first martyrs of Huss's refonnation was a Pole. 
The indulgences being preached at Prague in 1411, two 
Bohemians, named Krzydelko and Halesz^ and a Pole, called 
Stanislaw Paszek, a shoemaker by trade^ excited by their zeal 
against such preposterous doctrines, proclaimed them in the 
midst of the churches where they were preached to be false- 
hoods. They paid with their lives their generous conduct The 
inhabitants of Prague interred their bodies with great respect, 
and Huss preached a sermon at their buriaL 


The Polish jn Poland, which is suflSciently attested by the 

nobUity present ^ nf j 

at the council protcstatioii presented by the Bohemians to the 

of Constance * * 

zealously take fathers of the council in favour of that reformer, 
Hubs. on which occasion they were joined by all the 

Poles present at Constance ; and Huss himself 
gives in one of his letters a most decisive evidence 
of the part which the Poles, and particularly an 
eminent nobleman of that nation, took in his 
defence.* Huss's fellow-martyr, Hieronymus of 

* Hussi comites cum nohilitate Pohnica quas Constantioe 
erat se conjungere communique opera prid. id Maii anni 1415 
hcec ad Patres Concilii scrihere : ** Non poitest sibi temperare 
venerandi patres, Bohemia Polonicceque gentis nobilitas, qmejam 
hie est quin vobis quijrequentesjam iterum consedistis significet 
Illustrissimum principem ac dominum Sigismundum electum Im^ 
peratorem Rom, semper Augustum, HungaruB, Croatia, Dal' 
matuB Regem, ex quo in Bohemia nonnullas controversias exortas 
inaudiit, honoris illius regni ratione habita, de negotio hoc susci^ 
piendo administrandoque et con/lciendo cogitasse et denique M. J, 
Hussium sub Jide publica per Desp, Venceslaum Dubeum, et 
Joannem Chlumaum, qui prcesentes adsunt ad sacrum ocumenicum 
concilium vocandum atque deducendum curasse, ut adversariisjidei 
stue rationem redderet,id quod despota illiquosdiximus cum Joanne 
Hussio summisse prestiterunt, Hussium autem sub Jide publica hue 
venientem, indicta causa duro carcere inclusum esse, in quo etiam^ 
num vinculis constrictum fame sitique crucietur, Et licet in 
Concilio Pisano, anno 1410, qui condemnati Juerunt hceretici, 
tuti, securique aut inviolati domum reverti Juerunt. Noster tamen 
M, J, Hussius hoc impetrasse non potuit, ac neque convictus, 
neque condamnatus, sed inauditus, antequam ullius regis, principis 
aut academia legati advenissent in carcerem conjectus est, Im- 
peratore quoque uno cum hisce qui hie adsunt nobilibus, scepe 
a vobis postulante, ut decoris suajidei que publica ratione habita, 

M, Joannem 


Prague, had spent sometime in Poland, where he 
was called (1410), in order to organise the univer- 

M. Joannem Hussium audiretis, Jidei sues rationem publice 
postularetis, convictumquey quod sacra scriptune contraria docuis' 
set, de concilii sententia corrigere cogeretis : mm tamen impetrare 
voluisscp sed quern Jam sape dicimus M. Hussium duriori carceri 
inclusumy arctioribus vinculis constrictum, illiberali cibo pastum 
atque ita consumptum esse, ut periculum sit ne eum corporis, animi 
quoque sui vires deficiant, Et licet hi despotce, qui jam hie adsunt 
apud Bohemos omnes male forte audituri sint, propterea quod, quid 
de Hussio Jlat videant, nee tamen rem apud Imperatorem eo 
deducanty utjidesillapublicce quu ipsi cautum est servetur prassti- 
turque, nee adversaries eam violare vel in/ringere concedatur, 
propterea quod laudatissimo Bohemia regno quod a primo chrts* 
tiancB religionis exordioy nunquam a debita Romance ecclesia: 
obedientia deflexit, atque descivit contumdiosum est, ne tamen 
sancti concilii turbandi ansa prabueretur, omnia ista in hanc 
usque horam patientissime tulerunt* Proinde venerandi Patres 
ac dominiy Bohemice Polonice que nobiles apud vos cupide etiam 
atque etiam instare voluerunt ut ex rationejldei publicce ghriaque 
tum regni, quod diximus, tum vestrce ipsorum amplificanda in 
M, Joanni Hussi causam incumbatis remque maturetis (si quidem 
ingens in vestra mora periculum est) divinaque adjuti opefeliciter 
perficiatis, inquo quidem singularem de vobis spent conspiciunt. 
PrtBterea quoniam iideniy de quibus dictum esty despotce resciverunty 
a quibusdam Bohemias gentis calumniatoribus sparsum esse, a 
quibusdam in Bohemia sacratissimum Domini nostri Jesu Christi 
sanguinis sacramentum in prqfanis vasis circumferri, item a sutori-* 
buspeccata confitentes audiri, sacramque coenam distribui : id circo 
orant ne hujusmodi calumniatoribus ullamjidem habeatis; propte- 
rea quod nefarii isti nebulones in regnum ita calumniantes, nihili 
homines esse perspicietis, quibus re ita postulantCy adJHgidas suas 
jejunasque calumnias ita respondebimus ut A. M* S, vestraque ora 



sity of Craxjow,* The above circumstances united 
in communicating to Poland all the opinions 
which had sprung up in Bohemia, and ensured 
them a rapid success. 
Spread of Hus- The fact that the Hussite doctrines were widely 

Bite doctrines ... 

in Poland. Spread in Poland is sufficiently attested, by the 

laws which the influence of the clergy enacted 

turpe eruhescant*' — Vide Bellum Hussiticum a Zacharia Theo- 
baldo juniore^ Francoforti^ 1621^ page 30* 

'< Polani tanquam strenues defensores veritatis Dei, opponerunt 
se stepius toti concilio pro liberatione mecu X). Wenceslaus de 
Leszna intrepidus et zeiosus ^erkatia defensor^ an. 1415."-^ 
We have extracted this letter from a very rare work (found in 
the Brit. Mus.) ent ^^ Visumes nocturna Stepkani Melish, civis 
Lesnensis, 1659/' 12mo. 

*'^ Eodem anno 1410^ M, Hieronymm qui doctior perhihehatur 
a PoUmuB Rege Academue sua constrituenda gratia Cracoviam 
ei inde -rebus suis amfectis ad Sigismundum Hungarue Regem 
evocari" — Idem^ pag, 18. 

There lived at the same time another Hieronymus of Prague, 
but of different religious opinions with his namesake. After hav- 
ing spent twenty years at the convent of Camaldoli in Italy, 
he jetumed to his native city of Prague, which he left again 
on account of the doctrines of Huss spreading there. He went 
to Poland, whence King Jaguellon sent him to Lithuania in 
order to co-operate at the conversion of its inhabitants, which he 
did with great success. He was afterwards present at the Coun- 
cil of Basil, where Eneas Sylvius (afterwards Pope Pius the 
Second) heard from him an account of the conversions he had 
effected uiLithuania as well as of the idolatry of the inhabitants 
that country. Enece Sylvii Europ* cap* 26. 


against heresy during 'the fifteenth century. The 
Holy Inquisition had been established in Poland 
already, in the fourteenth century, against the 
sect of the Fratricelli, but we cannot trace any 
serious persecution of the sectarians. The arch- 
bishop of Gniezno convoked in 1416 a synod at 
Wielun, which established some very severe re- 
gulations against the Hussites. 

The Synod of Lenczyca, held in 1423, adopted 
likewise very severe resolutions against the Bo- 
hemian heresy. It enjoined the parish priests to 
imprison and to bring before the bishops all 
those who were suspected of favouring the new 
doctrines. It was forbidden to all the directors 
of schools to receive teachers who came from 
Bohemia, and the intercourse with that country 
was to be prevented by all possible means. The 
fathers were prohibited to give any assistance 
whatever to their children going to Bohemia, or 
professing heretical opinions. It was also par- 
ticularly recommended carefully to examine the 
books which were used by the parish priests. 
This last circumstance evidently proves that the 
doctrines of Huss were spreading amongst the 
lower clergy, and that books containing his opi- 
nions were circulating in the country. The cir- 
culation of Hussite books in Poland is moreover 
confirmed by the great number of Roman Ca- 
tholic works published at that time in Poland 

VOL. I. F 


against the Bohemian heresy, and which must 
have been very prevalent if it called for such a 
remedy. The Roman Catholic clergy were, in- 
deed, too good politicians to expatiate without 
necessity upon heretical doctrines, the knowledge 
of which alone was already fraught with danger 
of infecting the minds of the people, whose 
orthodoxy they wanted to preserve. 

The regulations of that clergy which we have 
mentioned were confirmed and proclaimed by 
the king in 1424, and heresy was declared high 
treason. Several diets enacted similar laws, 
which remained, however, a dead letter, and the 
influence of the clergy which had originated 
them was not sufficiently great to ensure their 
execution. Martinus of Brzese, magister here- 
ticiB pravitatisy strongly recommended (1437) 
to the magistrates to arrest and bring to his 
tribunal all persons infected with Bohemian 
errors. The regency which governed the country 
during the minority of Vladislav the Illd, gave 
in 1 438 power to Nicolas of Lenczyca, also • a 
magister hereticie pravitatisy to act against the 
sectarians, who were to be punished according 
to the ordinances of Emperor Frederic the lid, 
and the civil authorities were enjoined to assist 
the inquisitors. The Dominican monk, Martinus 
de Kace, obtained in 1464 an authorization from 
the monarch to act against the heretics ; yet, in 


Spite of this formidable array of laws and regu- 
lations, by which the Roman Catholic church 
sought to repress the growing heresy, its efforts 
proved unavailing. 

Poland had only one auto-da-fe, where some 
Hussites w^ere burnt : but this act of atrocity was 
perpetrated in a time of general trouble, on the 
sole authority of a bishop, and in a manner 
which resembled more an act of private ven- 
geance than of public justice, executed in con- 
sequence of established laws.* There may 
have been some secret victims sacrificed in the 
darkness of some convent, and chosen from 
amongst the lower classes of society ; but it was 
impossible to seize any individual belonging to 
the numerous class of nobles without a formal 
condemnation by a competent tribunal. Poland 
acquired^ in the fifteenth century, its habeas cor- 
pus. The fundamental principle of the Polish 
constitution, the neminem captivare permittimus 
nisi jure victuniy was established in 1450. Many of 

* Andreas Bninski, bishop of Posnania, collected nine hun- 
dred horsemen^ besieged the town of Zbonszyn^ and com- 
pelled the inhabitants to deliver to him five Hussite preachers, 
whom he burnt publicly, 1439. The same bishop, who was so 
cruel to heretics, was very lenient to the vices and profligacy 
of his own clergy : — *' /» clericos impudicos suce ecclesice 
sweque diocesis parum severus ei rigidus, muhorum tolerans 
scandala et vitia, ne illos sibi efficeret in/imos" says Dlugosz. 

p 2 


the first families in the country openly embraced 
the Bohemian doctrines without being subjected 
to any persecution ; and even Sophia, queen of 
Vladislav Jaguellon, was favourably disposed to 
the new doctrines.* 

♦ We must not omit mentioning a remarkable fact, relating 
to the religious state of Poland, which happened in that 
country during the fifteenth century, Andreas Galka Dob- 
szynski, or of Dobszyn, magister artium of the university of 
Cracow, expounded with some others the works of Wicliff 
at Cracow, about 1449, and wrote a hymn in honour of the 
English reformer. We think that our readers will take some 
interest in the translation of that curious document, and we 
give it to them as literal as possible : — 

" Ye Poles, Germans, and all nations ! WiclifF speaks the 
truth! Heathendom and Christendom had never a greater 
man than he, and never will have one. 

** Whoever wishes to know himself, let him approach WiclifF; 
whoever will enter the ways which he has pointed out will 
never leave them, and never will err. 

" He has unveiled divine wisdom, human knowledge, and 
things that were hidden to philosophers. 

"He has written by inspiration about the ecclesiastical 
dignity, the sanctity of the church, the Italian antichrist, and 
the wickedness of the popes. 

'^ Ye priests of Christ, who were called in by Christ, follow 

'* The imperial popes are antichrists ; their power is derived 
from the antichrist — from imperial German grants. 

'' Sylvester, the first pope, took his power from the dragon 
Constantine, and diffused his venom over all the churches. 

^' Led by Satan, Sylvester deceived the emperor, and got 

possession of Rome by fraud. 

<c We 



We must briefly delineate the political relations Political re- 
which existed between Poland and Bohemia, PoiandandSo- 
during the period when the Hussitan doctrines thrnussitan 
were flourishing in the last-named country, and 
which naturally contributed to the spreading of 
them in Poland. 

We have enumerated the many ties that con- 
nected both the countries, and it was natural 
that Bohemia looked for assistance, in its struggle 
against Germanism and Romanism, to Poland, 
which had recently acquired a great increase of 
power, since the accession to its throne of Ja- 
guellon, grand duke of Lithuania, in 1 386. The 
Bohemians, influenced by the moderate party 

" We wish for peace — let us pray to God ; let us sharpen the 
swords^ and we shall conquer the antichrist. * Let us strike the 
antichrist with the sword, but not with one made of iron/ 
Saint Paul says : ' kill the antichrist with the sword of Christ.* 

" Truth is the heritage of Christ. The priests have hidden 
the truth ; they are afraid of it, and they deceive people with 

'^O Christ! for the sake of thy wounds, send us such 
priests as may guide us towards the tv^ and may bury 
the antichrist." 

The author of this hymn was obliged to retire from Cracow; 
but he found a refuge at the court of Boleslav the Vth, prince 
of Oppeln, in Silesia, who professed the doctrines of Huss. 
Another curious circumstance is^ that the celebrated Polish 
printer, Fiol, who printed the first book with Slavonian or 
Cyrillic letter (149 1), was obliged to leave Cracow for some time^ 
on account of his Hussite opinions. 


called the Praguians, sent an embassy in 1420, 
oJBTering the throne of their country to Vladislav 
Jaguellon, king of Poland ; but that monarch, 
of a naturally irresolute character, gave them no 
positive answer, although he received the dele- 
gates with great kindness. He desired to know 
the precise conditions upon which the crown 
was offered, and to ascertain the opinion of his 
own senate. There were, indeed, some weighty 
reasons against the hasty acceptance of the prof- 
fered crown. A war with the Emperor, who 
considered Bohemia as his hereditary kingdom, 
would have been an inevitable consequence ; the 
German knights, excited by that monarch, would 
also in that case attack Poland. Jaguellon was 
more anxious to crush the above-mentioned 
knights — who, in spite of their defeat at the 
battle of Griinwald,* ceased not to be his most 

* The battle of Grun^rald, or Tannenberg, fought on the 22d 
July 1410^ is one of the most celebrated in the history of 
Poland. The knights of Prussia were entirely defeated on 
that day by the united forces of Poland and Lithuania. They 
lost, according to contemporary historians^ the immense number 
of fifty thousand men ; the Grand Master of the order, Ulrich de 
Jungingen, was killed, and many officers of distinction taken 
prisoners. The advantages of that great victory were, how- 
ever, entirely lost to Poland by the supineness of King Vladislav 
Jaguellon^ and a peace was concluded m the ensuing year ; but 
the victorious party derived from it no real advantage. A very 
memorable circumstance of the above-mentioned battle is, that 
John Trocznowski, or of Trocznow, who, under the name of 



formidable enemies — than to acquire Bohemia, 
which was then divided by several factions. 
Nicolas Hussenets, a powerful magnate, was 
aiming at the possession of the crown of his 
country; the celebrated Ziska was at the head 
of the Taborites, who, imbued with a feeling of 
nationality, and inclining towards republican 
principles, were much averse to the rule of a 
king, and particularly to that of a foreigner. 
The emperor himself had still a strong party in 
the country, and the Bohemian diet of Czaslaw 
proposed to him conditions; but when these 
conditions were rejected, the Bohemians turned 
again towards Poland. They sent a solemn 
embassy, where the nobility were represented by 
Hinek de Walstein and Halek de Wrzesnow, 
the clergy by John Cardinalis and the English- 

Ziska, became afterwards the celebrated leader of the Hussites^ 
and who acquired his military skill in the Polish service^ has 
distinguished himself on that occasion. We have extracted 
this notice from the learned Jesuit Balbinus, who says: ^^Nemo 
virum kunc (Ziskam) rudem militice hoc tempore Juisse suspi" 
cietur, Narrat idem Zalanski (a Bohemian writer), Polonis ante 
diu militasse et Lithiianis, ac Prutkenicis bellis omnibus inter- 
Juissey ac prcesertim in cruentissimo pralio in quo crucigeri ccesi 
sunt UIO, maximum ad victoria aitulisse momentum" Balbinus, 
Epitome Rerum Bohemicarum, Prague, 1677, page 424. The 
same author relates^ page 464-5, that Ziska was in the habit of 
wearing the Polish dress, and to trim his mustachios after th^ 
Polish fashion. 


man Peter Payne,* and the towns by Mickocz 
and Staniczka, consuls or aldermen of Prague. 
The conditions on which the Bohemian delegates 
offered the throne of their country to the king 

* Peter Payne was born in Lincolnshire, at a place called 
Haugh or Hough, three miles from Grantham. He studied at 
Oxford in Edmund's Hall^ of which he was principal^ 1410-15. 
(Vide List of the Principals of Edmund Hall, in the Oxford 
University Calendar; also Wood's History of Oxford, page 216.) 
It is impossible to ascertain the precise time when Payne 
arrived at Bohemia, where he enjoyed a high consideration 
amongst the Hussites, and was sent as a delegate to the Council 
of Basil in 14SS. Lenfant describes him as a man of deep 
learning, who particularly employed himself in explaining the 
obscure places in WicliflTs writings. The Roman Catholic 
writer Cochleus gives the following account of Peter Payne: — 
" Petrus Payne ingeniosus magister Oxoniensis, qui aniculos Wi- 
clephi ex libris ejus punctatim et seriatim deduxit^ et suis opusculis 
pestiferis imposuit, arte inferiores sed veneno pervicatiores : qua: 
Wicleph obscure posuit, iste explanavit: ipse suo pravo ingenio 
non solum Jieret errorum Wiclephi doctor, sed approbator et auctor, 
augmentator et promulgator, kujus purissimi regni Bohemits 
primarius et perniciosissimus infector et destructor. Tahoritis 
maxime favebat, sectator Wiclephi obstinatissimus, Pragam cum 
libris ejus prqfugit," — Cochleus, Historia Hussitarum. We think 
that Cochleus is not correct in calling Payne primarius infector 
of Bohemia, as the opinions of WiclifiT had been promulgated 
there many years before the arrival of Peter Payne. Vide 
note in p. 59. Payne is supposed tohave died at Prague in 1455. 
The details of the various negotiations between Bohemia and 
Poland are taken chiefly from Dlugosz, whose evidence upon 
that subject was also adopted by Lenfant, in his Histoire des 
Guerres des Hussites. 


of Poland were — the communion of two kinds, . 
the national liturgy, an unlimited liberty of 
preaching the gospel, the confiscation of the 
estates of the Roman Catholic Church, and the 
confirmation of all the national liberties. They 
represented the motives which should make him 
accept the proposed crown as follows : — a common 
language and origin ; the reunion of Silesia with 
Poland, and even the union into one monarchy 
of Poland, Bohemia, and Moravia, which would 
form a most powerful estate, destroy Austria, and 
give to the new Slavonian empire a decided 
supremacy over all its neighbours. Yet these 
extraordinary advantages could not overcome the 
irresolution of Jaguellon. The clergy, whose 
influence was great in the senate, opposed the 
Bohemians ; and the idea of becoming the head 
of an heresy terrified the aged monarch, although 
by no means a bigot. Yet the advantages offered 
by the Bohemians were too brillant to be rejected 
altogether, and the king therefore amused them 
with evasive answers. The delegates offered the 
throne of Bohemia to Vitold, grand-duke of 
Lithuania, cousin to the king. Vitold, although 
a bold and ambitious prince, dared not to accept 
openly the proposed sovereignty, but adopted a 
middle course, evidently with the consent of 
Jaguellon. He sent his relative. Prince Sigis- if J^nt"^ith"an 
mund Coributt, with considerable forces and a *'"?y *° ^^% 

assistance of 

large sum of money, to assist the Bohemians, the Hussites. 


This important act was a recognition of the 
rights of the Hussites ; and the Bohemian Diet, 
1421, emboldened by the assistance of the Polish 
forces, rejected in a decisive manner the claims 
of the emperor to the throne of their country. 
The Bohemians again offered the sovereignty, 
either to Jaguellon or to Vitold, and in case 
they should refuse, to Sigismund Coributt. But 
Jaguellon was not only irresolute, but even on 
the point of joining the emperor, who amused 
him with a delusive promise of restoring Silesia 
to Poland. The negotiations with the emperor 
were, however, soon broken off by the want of 
mutual confidence. Jaguellon assisted his re- 
lative with new forces, and gave by it an im- 
portant support to the Hussites, whose doctrine 
was publicly adopted by Coributt, educated in 
the Greek persuasion. Coributt entered Prague, 
and was proclaimed regent of Bohemia. The 
Pope sent a fulminating message to Vitold, 
prohibiting him to assist the Bohemian heresy, 
and absolving him at the same time from every 
obligation he might have entered into with the 
heretics. Vitold, in his answer to the Pope, ac- 
knowledged that he had accepted the proposed 
crown of Bohemia and assisted the Bohemians ; 
but expressed his hopes that the heresy might 
be subdued by conciliatory measures, and re- 
quested that the excommunication pronounced 
against the Bohemians should be withdrawn. 


The answer of Vitold proves that he was by 
no means a bigoted Catholic ; we do not believe, 
however, that he had any particular leaning to 
the Hussite doctrines : ambition was his creed, 
and he confessed himself that he did not un- 
derstand much about religion. Had he been 
permitted, he would have undoubtedly given 
such assistance to the Bohemians as to ensure 
their final success ; but the irresolute character of 
Jaguellon, without whose co-operation, or at least 
consent, he could do nothing to further the de- 
sired object, lost a fair opportunity for establish- 
ing the greatness of the Slavonian race, by the 
union of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia with the 
extensive dominions of Poland and Lithuania. 
Coributt met with great difficulties in main- 
taining his new dignity, amidst the confusion of 
parties which unfortunately at that time divided 
the Bohemians. He succeeded, however, in over- 
coming those difficulties; and Ziska, who had 
formerly been opposed to him, acknowledged him 
as regent of the country. The Praguians wished 
to elect Coributt king of Bohemia, and to confirm 
the new order of things by his solemn coronation : 
the accomplishment of that project was prevented 
by the hostility of the higher nobility, because 
Coributt leaned for support chiefly on that party 
which was inclined to push the consequences of 
political and religious reform farther than they 
wished or thought it expedient to do. 


Had Jaguellon been steady in his friendship to 
the Bohemians, Coributt would have easily over- 
come all the obstacles to the throne; but the 
wavering mind of his royal relative marred the 
accomplishment of a scheme, which every conside- 
ration of a sound policy should have urged him 
to promote. The Bohemian embassy, which 
arrived to request the confirmation of Coributt's 
regency, was ill received by Jaguellon, who 
reproached them with the troubles and anarchy 
which desolated Bohemia. It is very likely that 
the disorders unavoidable on a state of revolution, 
and particularly so in a religious warfare, raised 
apprehensions in the mind of the Polish monarch 
lest they might extend to his country, and inclined 
him to lend a willing ear to the suggestions of 
Rome. He listened to the delusive promises of 
the emperor; sent orders to Coributt to abandon 
the Bohemians, who were to be attacked by the 
united forces of Poland and those of the emperor. 
Yet this holy war, as it was called by the Pope, 
supported by rich donations of the clergy, was 
not even begun ; but the fickle and unwise policy 
of Jaguellon was exceedingly prejudicious to the 
Polish influence in Bohemia. The spirit of party 
was roused, and the regent, unable to maintain 
himself, was obliged to retire. Coributt resumed 
again his dignity as regent of Bohemia, and 
convoked the diet of Czaslav in 1424, in order to 
bring about the reconciliation between the Tabo- 


rites and the Praguians, the two principal parties 
which at that time divided Bohemia. Coributt's 
efforts obtained a momentary success, and he was 
elected king, chiefly by the influence of the Pra- 
guians or CalixtineSy partisans of a moderate 
reform, and who retained much of the Roman 
hierarchy and doctrines. Coributt made propo- 
sitions to Rome for a reconciliation with the 
church. This raised a suspicion amongst the 
Taborites, who, afraid of the restoration of the 
papal dominion, took up arms. A domestic war 
ensued. Ziska, the chief of the Taborites, obtained 
a bloody victory over the Praguians, and the 
negotiations with Rome were broken. After the 
death of Ziska, Coributt regained his influence, 
and commanded the Praguians and the Polish 
auxiliary troops at the battle of Aussig,* where 

* The battle of Aussig^ on the banks of theElbe^ close to the 
Saxon frontiers, took place in 1426 Aussiga^ Btrong fortified 
place occupied by Roman Catholics, was besieged by the Hus- 
sites of all parties. The Taborites and Orphans were com- 
manded by Procopius the Tonsured, who had succeeded Ziska; 
and the Praguians by Sigismund Coributt, who had always a 
strong body of Polish troops. A numerous army of Germans^ 
under the command of the Margrave of Misnia, entered Bohe<- 
mia in order to assist the Catholics ; but they were entirely 
routed by the HusSitan forces^ although much inferior in num- 
bers. This victory was very important to the cause of the Hus- 
sites ; and if Polish valour has rendered a signal service to the 
cause of Christendom under the walls of Vienna, it may claim 
some merit for having supported that of the reformed doctrines 



the political and religious liberties of Bohemia 
were saved from an imminent danger by a most 
brilliant victory over the invading Germans. Bo- 
hemia continued, however, to be torn by factions ; 
and Coributt, unsupported byJaguellon, abdicated 
the royal dignity at the diet of 1427, and left the 
country. He revisited Bohemia in 1430, where he 
joined the party of the Orphans': but, after some 
adventurous expeditions in Silesia and Lusatia, 
he finally returned to Poland.* 

Notwithstanding the unwise line of policy 
which Jaguellon had pursued towards the Bohe* 
mians, they constantly turned their eyes to Poland, 
expecting the most effective assistance from a 
consanguine nation, whose sympathies were en- 

at the battle of Aussig^ as well as on many occasions where the 
Polish auxiliaries took an efficient part in the struggle of the 
Bohemians for their religious and political liberty. Besides the 
troops sent under Coributt^ many Poles^ attracted by their sym- 
pathies for a consanguine nation^ and professing the Hussite 
doctrines^ constantly flocked to the victorious standard of their 
ancient companion in arms Ziska (vide note^ p. 70). We may 
mention amongst them Gizowski^ who had been comman- 
der of the guards to king Jaguellon^ and who joined afterwards 
Ziska with a select band of wariors. The part which Coributt 
took at the battle of Aussig is not mentioned by Lenfant, but it 
is related in the Bohemian chronicle of Hagek of Liboczan. 
Vide its German translation^ Leipsic, 1718^ p. 728. 

* Coributt is the ancestor of the princely family Wisznio- 
wiecki, now extinct^ a member of which, Michel Wiszniowiecki^ 
mounted the throne of Poland in 1669. 


listed in their^ cause. A deputation of Taborites 
disputed publicly at Cracow about religion in 
1427 ; but the most important transaction between 
Poland and Bohemia is the public disputation a public dis- 

, - - putation be- 

which was holden at Cracow m 1431, between the tween the deie- 
Hussite deputies of Bohemia and the Roman Hussites and 
Catholic doctors of the university of Cracow. unw^it"of 
The disputation was carried on in the presence pi^°^ cn^' 
of the king and the senate ; and it is to be p^ence of the 
remarked that the Bohemians were represented ^enfte"^ ^^^ 
on that occasion not only by the moderate Ca- 
lixtine party, whom the council of Basil admitted 
into the community of the church, but even by 
all the branches of the followers of Huss. The 
Bohemian delegates on that occasion were the 
celebrated Procopius, the bald or tonsured chief of 
the Taborites ; the Englishman, Peter Payne, 
who represented the Orphans ; Biedrzyk, Strazni- 
czka, and William Kostka, deputies of the Pra- 
guians, or Calixtines. Unfortunately, the chro- 
nicles have left no details about that polemical 
meeting. Dlugosz, who relates that memorable 
transaction, only says that the conferences, which 
lasted several days, were almost continually held 
in Polish ; and that although, according to the 
opinion of all present, ecclesiastics as well as laics, 
the heretics were vanquished, they never acknow- 
ledged their defeat. But the fact alone that 
heretical tenets were suffered to be publicly 
discussed, is sufficient to prove the state of public 


opinion which prevailed at that time in Poland, 
about religious matters. 
Favourable A Bohemian embassy which arrived in Poland 

reception of a ^ ^ "^ 

Hussite em. in 1432, in order to propose an alliance as^ainst the 

bassybythe . . . 

Polish bishops J German knisrhts. was received with great honours 

but the bishop . o » o 

of Cracow foils, by king Jaguellou, who was then at Vislitza; and 

zeal, tbeir con. the Polish clcrgy admitted the Bohemians into 

ryv W8. ^jj^jjj. ehurches, notwithstanding they remained 

under the papal excommunication. This conci- 
liatory measure was adopted by the archbishop of 
Gniezno, by the bishops of Vladislav, Poznania, 
and Chelm. It was violently opposed by cardi- 
nal Zbigniew, bishop of Cracow, zealously devoted 
to the interests of Rome ; and the exertions of that 
bigoted prelate, who having succeeded in exciting 
a riot amongst the populace of Cracow, shut the 
town against the heretics, and destroyed, by me- 
naces and intrigues, the views of those who wished 
to establish a connexion between Poland and 
Bohemia. The king was so irritated against the 
bishop of Cracow, that he intended to put him to 
death, but was dissuaded from committing that 
violent action by John Tarnowski, palatine of 

The manifold relations between Poland and 
Bohemia, which we have described, naturally con- 
tributed to the spread of Hussite doctrines in our 
country. The effects of those doctrines began 
to manifest themselves during the minority of 
Vladislav of Varna, surnamed thus on account of 



his heroic death, 1444, at the battle which bears 
the name of that place. We have already ex- 
pressed that many great families in Poland had 
publicly embraced the doctrines of Huss. Some Revolutionary 
of those grandees, Abraham Zbonski, Spytek the^pSHsh ^ 

TT *♦ 

Melsztynski, John Straz, and others made (1435) 
a confederation ♦ for religious and political pur- 
poses. They refused the payment of tithes, and 
demanded a limitation of the royal power, and the 
correction of several abuses. In 1439 the confede- 
rates manifested bolder designs ; they proclaimed 
an abolition of tithes, as well as of church cen- 
sures and excommunications ; they demanded 
a change in the Roman hierarchy, and that the 
enormous estates of the clergy should be appro- 
priated to objects of general utility. Besides 
these religious subjects, they entertained political 
schemes of a most daring character. They wished 
to prevent Vladislav from succeeding to the 
throne of his father, and some of them went so 

* The nobles of Poland had the right to form an association 
for the defence, even by force of arms, of the national liberties, 
if they were threatened by some danger. Sucli associations 
were called Confederations, and they gave birth to a power 
which could save, as well as destroy the country. Poland has 
often suffered from that dangerous privilege; but it has also been 
sometimes saved from the most imminent danger, by the ap- 
plication of that violent remedy. Such was, for instance, the 
confederation of Tyszowce in 1655, as well as the patriotic 
although unsuccessful confederation of Bar in 1768* 

VOL. I. G 



After a mo- 
mentary suc- 
cess, they are 

far as to wish for an abolition of the royal digni- 
ty. Spytek Melsztynski, the principal leader of 
that party, who had established in all his estates 
the Hussite mode of worship, was excommunica- 
ted by Zbigniew, bishop of Cracow, and excluded 
from the senate. Melsztynski assembled an 
army, devastated the domains of the bishop of 
Cracow, and seized the town of Zator, whence 
the capital derived its principal supplies. The 
council of regency which governed the country 
during the minority of the king, dared not to op- 
pose Melsztynski, who had a large party in the 
country, but entered into negociations with him. 
The heretical grandee consented to disband 
his troops, and received a ransom of one thou- 
sand marks for the town of Zator. The move- 
ment of heresy which had triumphed on that 
occasion, soon re-appeared in a more formidable 
manner: it was excited by the dowager queen 
Sophia, secretly attached to the Bohemian doc- 
trines and hostile to the council of regency, which 
was checking her influence. Melsztynski assem- 
bled forces more considerable than before, defeat- 
ed the troops of the regency, and established his 
camp in a strong position near the capital. Had he 
been able to occupy Cracow and take hold of the 
reins of the government, there would have proba- 
bly been an end of Romanism in Poland. He, 
however, lost his life in an engagement ; his party 
was routed, and the body of their leader, as that 



of an avowed heretic, was left unburied on the 
field of battle. 

It was shortly after the defeat and death of 
Melsztynski, that Bninski, bishop of Posen, seized 
and burnt the Hussite preachers to whom we 
have already alluded.* 

The relations between Bohemia and Poland, 
which had been interrupted for some time, were 
resumed again in 1438. Barbara, widow of the 
emperor Sigismund III., persecuted on account 
of her religions opinions, retired to Poland. The 
youthful king Vladislav received the imperial 
refugee with all the regard due to her exalted 
station and great misfortune, and assigned the 
extensive demesnes of Sandomir for her mainte- 
nance. Barbara, who had retained a great influence 
in Bohemia, induced the Bohemians to elect for 
their monarch Casimir Jaguellon, brother to the The Hussite 
king of Poland ; and the Polish diet, held at sfmir j^iei-* 
Korczyn, acknowledged that election, in spite of paiand"king 
the Roman Catholic opposition. Casimir marched but^everaTcir- 
at the head of a Polish army to take possession pr^en^hls 
of his sovereignty, and was immediately acknow- ^^"of^t^r^ 
ledged by Silesia. The Roman Catholic party *^^^"^- 
of Bohemia elected Albert, archduke of Austria, 
in opposition to Casimir. Casimir occupied Mo- 
ravia; and the Polish forces, united with the 
Hussites, took Kuttenberg and Sobieslaw, two 

* Vide note, page 67. 
G 2 


important towns of Bohemia. Casimir's progress 
was arrested by the treason of the count of Cilly, 
but particularly by the. interminable dissentions 
between the Taborites and Calixtines ; and the 
hostilities were suspended by the efforts of the 
council of Basil. A congress was held at Breslau, 
in order to arrange a pacification between the 
contending parties. The Polish delegates propo- 
sed that Casimir Jaguellon and Albert of Austria 
should equally resign their respective claims to 
the crown of Bohemia, and submit them to a diet 
of that country, which should freely decide upon 
the respective merits of the two candidates. This 
truly liberal proposition was rejected by Albert 
of Austria, who was afraid that the Polish party, 
supported by the Hussites, would have prevailed 
over his own, which leaned entirely on the 
Roman Catholics, who were at that time in great 
minority. The negociations were broken off, and 
the congresses which were afterwards held at 
Namyslaw and Lubusz, had no better result : but 
the council of Basil obtained a suspension of 
hostilities. iThe change of circumstances pre- 
vented the Polish prince from prosecuting his 
rights to the Bohemian throne. His brother, 
Vladislav, was elected king of Hungary, and| 
his attention became entirely absorbed with the 
affairs of Turkey. Casimir's adherents diminished^ 
in Bohemia by the increase of the party which, 
being adverse to every foreign influence, was 


equally so to that of Poland, notwithstanding a 
common origin and a similar language. Casimir 
became king of Poland after the death of his 
brother, at the battle of Yarna, in 1444, and 
the relations with Bohemia were renewed under 
his reign, by George Podiebrad, king of that 
country, elected by the influence of the moderate 
Hussites in 1458. Podiebrad, feeling that he was 
unable by himself to oppose Rome and Germany, -^**8um^^^ 
sought support from Poland. He proposed tf> ^^^^^^^^ 
restore Silesia to Poland, to conclude an alliance p?'*? peorge 


against the German knights, and ensure the t^e Hussite 

. . kin? of 

succession of his throne to a prince of the Polish Bohemia. 
dynasty. The congress of Bytom, which met in 
1460 for the arrangement of the above-mentioned 
propositions, was unable finally to settle that 
important negociation, on account of some misun- 
derstandings which arose between the Bohemian 
and Polish delegates respecting the succession 
of the Polish prince to the crown of Bohemia ; an 
alliance was, however, concluded between the two 
countries against their respective foreign enemies, 
by which were understood Austria and the Ger- 
man knights. A personal meeting which took 
place, in 1462, at Glogow, between the king of 
Poland and that of Bohemia, confirmed and de- 
veloped the treaty of Bytom. By a solemn 
recognition of Podiebrad's sovereignty, and bv 
entering into a formal alliance with him, Casimir 


became the ally of the heretical party which 
Podiebrad represented, and by whose influence 
the reversion of the throne of Bohemia after his 
death was guaranteed to a prince of Poland. 
The Roman Catholic party felt the danger aris- 
ing from an alliance between the Hussites and 
the king of Poland . They convened a diet at 
Iglau, under the influence of a Roman legate, 
and resolved to offer to Casimir the crown of 
Boliemia, as a hereditary sovereignty, and to give 
up to Poland some fine provinces, provided 
Casimir would dissolve the treaty of Glogow, 
and employ all his forces to crush the Hussites, 
instead of supporting them. Casimir remained, 
liowever, firm in his friendship to the Hussites, 
and rejected those brillant offers, which were 
brought to him by a solemn embassy. The 
catholic party offered, after Casimir's refusal, the 
throne of Bohemia to Mathias Corvin, king of 
Hungary; but Casimir intimated that he would 
never allow that the rights he had acquired by 
treaties should be infringed, and remained faithful 
in his alliance to the heretical and excommunica* 
ted Podiebrad, notwithstanding the complaints of 
the Pope, who reproached him as acting against 
the interests of Christianity. The Pope required 
that a crusade against the Hussites should be 
allowed to be preached in Poland; but Casimir 
severely prohibited such proceedings, and permit- 


ted nothing to be done against his ally.* The 
high-minded policy of the Polish monarch obtained 
a merited reward. The assembled states of Bo- 
hemia nominated Vladislav, son to king Casimir, 
successor to Podiebrad, ' who was well aware of 
his inability to establish the sovereignty in his 
own family. It was only stipulated that the 
Polish prince should espouse Ludomilla daughter 
of Podiebrad, and that his sons should receive 
large desmesnes after the demise of their royal 

The Polish clergy violently opposed, in the 
senate, the confirmation of that important trans- 
action ; they declaimed against a community with 
heresy, and an alliance with obstinate enemies 
of the Roman Catholic church, and urged that 
the king should conquer Bohemia with the sword, 
and crush the refractory sectarians by force. The 
opposition of the clergy proved, however, vain, 
and the senate ratified the election of the Polish 
prince. Casimir promised to obtain from the 
Pope the confirmation of the compactataj or the 
indulgences, which the council of Basil had 
granted to the Hussites.f 

* Vide Dlugosz; Raynaldus Bzovius, ad annos 1466-67- 

t The council of Basil conceded^ 1433, to the Hussites the 
following articles, which are known under the name of the 

Compactata : 


The Polish After the death of Podiebrad , in 1 470, the states 

Prince Vladis- 

lav, is elected of Bohemia assembled at Kutno to confirm the 

King of Bohe- 
mia, by which previous election of Vladislav to the throne of 

thfi T&cnid— 

Ionian dynasty thdr country ; but although the rights of the Po- 

was established i*i* 111 1 1 1 1111 

on the throne of lish prmce bad been solemnly acknowledged by 

that country. j.* i ^ xi j i_ 1 

a national consent, they were opposed by several 
new competitors. M athias Corvin king of Hun- 
gary, Albert margrave of Misnia, the emperor Fre- 
deric, and Henry son of the late king George 
Podiebrad, appeared as candidates to the throne. 
The claims of the Polish prince were, however, 
the best-founded, his rights were formally ac- 
knowledged by the nation and the late monarch ; 
Bohemia was connected with Poland by a com- 
munity of origin and similarity of language ; its 
political and religious liberty had been saved by 
Polish assistance, and every consideration of a 
sound policy urged the Bohemians to promote a 
tmion which could afford the best security to the 
Slavonians against the ever-encroaching attempts 
of Germany. These weighty reasons were duly 
appreciated by the Bohemian states, who being 
surrounded by considerable national forces, and 
free from every foreign influence, proclaimed on 
the 27th May, 1471, Vladislav prince of Poland, 

Compactata : — 1. The communion of two kinds* 2. The worship 
in the national language. 3. Marriage of Priests. 4. Seculari- 
sation of Church property. 


sovereign of their country. This memorable 
event established for a long time the religious 
and political liberty of Bohemia, and the reign 
of Vladislav, and his son Lewis, 1471-1525, may 
be considered the most flourishing period of the 
history of that country ; the epoch of a great intel* 
lectual development, which had prepared the 
golden era of its national literature. 

We have expatiated perhaps too much on the 
relations which existed between Bohemia and 
Poland during the fifteenth century, in order to 
prove that our country was not without its share 
of merit in supporting the reformation of Huss, 
which had prepared the way for that of Luther ; 
and, indeed, if the Germans may boast of having 
effected the reformation, we Slavonians may 
claim the honour of having laid its groundwork. 
Luther himself bears evidence to the deserts of 
Huss, by the following words : " John Huss," 
says Luther, " has weeded the vineyard of Christ 
from many thorns. He has condemned the 
scandal of the apostolical see. I have found a 
fertile and well-tilled ground. I rose against the 
Popish doctrines, and I destroyed them. Huss 
was the seed which ought to die, and to be buried, 
in order that it might germinate and grow."* 

It is indeed extraordinary, that the Hussite 
doctrines, which widely circulated in Poland 

* Michelet, M^moires de Luther. 


during the fifteenth century, had not obtained a 
complete triumph, and become the established 
religion of that country. It may be partly 
ascribed to the circumstance that the cause which 
had materially promoted the success of Huss's 
Probable reformation in Bohemia, did not exist in Poland : 

c&usGs whv the 

Hussite doc- we mean the struggle between the Slavonian and 
gain the upper- German elements, which rendered the doctrines 
land. '" ^ of Huss the rallying point of the national party 

against the foreign influence, and gave to a reli* 
gious opinion the mighty support of a political 
feeling. This element was entirely deficient in 
Poland, which, being independent, had no 
occasion to struggle for the maintenance of a 
nationality, threatened with destruction from a 
growing foreign influence, as was the case in 
Bohemia. The deplorable dissensions amm^t 
the Hussites themselves, which had acted so 
prejudiciously to the cause of reformation '^in 
Bohemia, had also, no doubt, exercised a per- 
nicious influence on its progress in Poland. 
Whatever may have been the cause of that failure, 
it cannot be sufficiently lamented, as the triumph 
of the Hussite doctrines in Poland would have 
undoubtedly led to the establishment of a scrip* 
tural religion amongst the greatest part, if not 
the whole Slavonian race, and might perhaps 
have produced an entire overthrow of Romanism 
in Europe. But, although Roman Catholicism 
remained the dominant church of Poland, and 


preserved unaltered its outward form, its spirit 
was much changed. Romanism, during the fif- 
teenth century, was fast losing its hold upon the 
minds of the people in our country, who were 
much prepared for the reception of the reformed 
doctrines, and which accounts for their rapid 
spread in the ensuing century. 

The university of Cracow, founded in 1400, Religious and 

, I'll 1 /• political state of 

contributed much to the mtellectual progress of Poland during 
Poland during the fifteenth century, which is century. 
also the epoch of the development of its consti- 
tution. We have already mentioned, that the 
Polish habeas Mrpus, the neminem captivare per- 
mittimus nisi jure victum^ was formally establish- 
ed in the middle of that century. The power 
of the king was circumscribed by the formation 
of a privy council of four senators, residing 
always with the monarch, without whose consent 
the royal acts had no legal validity, and who 
might be considered as responsible ministers of 
the crown. The national representation received 
a more definite form, by the division of the le- 
gislative body into the Senate, or House of Peers, 
and the Chamber of Nuncios, or House of Com- 
mons, at the Diet of Piotrkow, in 1453. The diet 
of 1459 is memorable on account of the great 
constitutional questions which were agitated in 
that assembly; but it deserves our particular 
notice from the opinions which John Ostrorog 
submitted to that diet on diflferent political re- 


forms, and which was afterwards (embodied in his 
work, Pro JReipublica Ordinationey J. Ostrorogy 
SfCy published without date and place. 
Reform in OstroTOff was a man remarkable not only for 

the church , ^ , , •^ 

proposed by his CTcat leamius:, but also for the high rank he 

Ostrorog to the . . 

Polish Diet of held in his country. His father was regent of 

Poland during the absence of king Vladislav on 
the unfortunate expedition of Varna ; he was 
himself palatine of Poznania, and had obtained 
the dignity of a doctor of laws at the university 
of Padua, where the Polish nobles generally 
went in order to complete their studies. His 
opinions may be considered, therefore, not as 
those of an enthusiast, strongly impressed by 
ideas new to the community in which he lived, 
and whom he sought to convert to his own con- 
viction; but they must be rather viewed as the 
expression of the opinions which were at that 
time entertained by the thinking part of the 
nation. The calm and dignified tone in which 
Ostrorog's work is written, gives an additional 
reason to suppose, that it contained the opinions 
of a moderate party wishing for reforms required 
by the necessities of the age, and not of some 
exalted promotors of violent measures. It would, 
however, be foreign to our subject to canvass 
the merits or demerits of the above-mentioned 
propositions, in reference to purely political mat- 
ters, and we shall limit ourselves to giving a few 
extracts relating to the affairs of the church. 


1. "There is no objection in recommending to 
the Pope this kingdom as a Catholic country, 
but it becomes not to proffer to him an unlimited 
obedience. The king of Poland is subject to 
none, and has no superior but God. 

2. " It is unbecoming to address to the Pope 
humble and submissive letters. The king is not 
the subject of Rome; humility is not bad in 
itself, .but when exaggerated, and shown to one 
who has authority in affairs of a purely spiritual 
nature, it becomes guilty. Christ has not sub- 
mitted temporal affairs to the apostolical see ; he 
has even said, that his kingdom was not of this 
world. The clergy should also bear the public 
burthens, equally with other citizens. 

3. " If the bishops and all the clergy were, 
as they suppose to be, really spiritual, I would 
object, that the civil authority should direct 
the elections of the church dignities. The king 
would then distribute only the political dignities, 
and the clergy watch over the salvation of souls. 
Their ecclesiastical duties, and their worldly 
business, would be then entirely separated. But 
there is none who would investigate, and clearly 
explain the duties imposed on the clergy. Custom 
has prevailed ; and in order to avoid greater evils, 
it is necessary to leave the elections to the king, 
who will choose persons of learning and of a 
meek character, and thus prevent mutual hatreds 
between laity and clergy. 


4. " It is to be lamented, that Italian perversity 
impoverishes the kingdom of Poland by manifold 
exactions. Rome draws annually large sums, 
under the pretence of piety and religion, but in 
fact, by means of superstition. A bishop never 
gets his consecration without paying some thou- 
sands of ducats to the Roman pontiff, although 
the canon law leaves the consecration of bishops 
to archbishops. Our lenity and supineness have 
given the force of law to the Italian perversity and 
abuses. The annates were originally obtained for 
the expenses of a war against the Turks : war 
has ceased, and the annates have remained. It 
is not right, therefore, to continue longer this tax 
of mistaken piety. The Pope must not exercise 
tyranny under the pretence of religion. 

6. " The bishop of Rome has invented a most 
unjust motive for imposing taxes — the war 
against the infidels. Poland, at least, should be 
exempted from them, as it leads to a constant 
warfare with the Moscovites, Turks, and Tartars. 
Being stationed on the limits of Christendom, 
Poland unceasingly defends the Christian coun- 
tries. I think, therefore, that the national trea- 
sury could take the annates which are given to 
the Pope.* 

6. "The clergy seek always to screen them- 

* The payment of annates to the Pope was afterwards pro- 
hibited by the Diets of 1544, 1567, 1607, 1667. 


selves, whenever they are called to assist the 
wants of the republic. They feign to have fears, 
when there should be none. They have probably 
forgotten, that all their superfluities should be 
the property of the poor. If, therefore, the 
clergy make an ill use of their goods, they com- 
mit robbery. There could be no purer alms, if 
the church would devote the goods that are given 
to the poor to their exclusive use. 

7. " The king is accused, that he exacts from 
the estates of abbots and other clergy services ; 
but our fathers have not endowed monasteries 
with rich donations, without any object. They 
meant that all wliich would remain from the 
maintenance of the monks, who ought to live 
modestly, should be devoted to the wants of the 
country. The king is equally blamed for having 
coined church plate into money. They have 
certainly not read St. Bernard, who says : * The 
church has gold ; not that it might possess it, 
but that it might give it to the needy.' The king 
took the church plate, because he was pressed 
by necessity ; but Rome accumulates great riches 
by its jurisdiction. A law-suit lasts sometimes 
thirty years, and the parties die before it is ended. 
Rome takes no sheep without wool, and the 
country suffers great losses. It is true, that it 
receives 1 do not know what bulls — a fine ex- 
change, indeed ! There are, however, amongst 
us such people as respect the Roman scribblings. 


furnished with red seals and hempen strings, and 
suspended on the door of a church- We must 
not submit to the Italian deceits. We have in 
our country bishops, archbishops, and even a 
primate: why should we not ourselves judge our 
own causes ? 

8. "Is it not a deceit that the Pope imposes 
upon us, in spite of the king and the senate, I 
do not know what bulls, called indulgences. He 
gets money by assuring people that he absolves 
their sins ; but God has said by his prophet : 
* My son, give me thy heart, and not money.' 
The Pope feigns that he employs his treasures 
for the erection of churches ; but, in fact, he 
employs them to enrich his relations. I will pass 
over in silence things that are still worse. There 
are monks who praise such fables. There are a 
great number of preachers and confessors who 
only think how to get the richest harvest, and 
who indulge themselves in luxuries after having 
plundered the poor people. 

9. "After Rome, our own country is the 
greatest sink of simony and deceit. The clergy 
sell burials, extreme unctions, penitences, bap- 
tisms, and . marriages, which should all be admi- 
nistrated gratis. The bishopricks were erected 
and endowed that they might pay the ministers of 
the church. The tithes were formerly given by 
the rich, and not by the poor; but now the poor 
give tithes to the rich. Is this the application 


of the precept : ^ I require mercy and not sacri- 

10. "It is very bad, that convents are filled 
with idle and incapable people. St. Paul recom- 
mends to be cautious in bestowing ordination: 
what scandal and what abuses have not arisen 
from such people ! After having shaven his head, 
and endued a cowl, one thinks himself fit to 
correct all the world. He cries and almost bel- 
lows in the pulpit, because he sees no opponent. 
Learned men, and even those who possess an 
inferior degree of knowledge, cannot listen with- 
out horror to the nonsense, and almost blasphemy, 
uttered by such preachers. 

11. " People such as are the least qualified for 
it enter generally the ecclesiastical order; be- 
cause idleness is an agreeable thing, a blessed 
repose. They have been probably induced to it 
by St. Paul, who says : * If a man desireth the 
office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.' But 
they have not thought that to desire episcopacy 
for its advantages is a bad thing. 

12. *' The number of labourers and mechanics 
is continually diminishing. The reason of that 
diminution is, that every body likes to wear the 
cowl, in order to lead an idle and useless life. 
As it is the duty of public authority to take care 
that idleness and vagrancy should not spread 
over the country, it should be therefore enacted, 
that the towns should not admit such numbers 

VOL. I. H 





of mQoks and German mendicants. Mendicity 
should be suppressed. The convents ought to 
feed and to clothe the poor. The Pope generally 
takes the goods of bishops dying intestate. Is 
the Pope not yet sufficiently provided for? It is 
much' more becoming that they should be ap- 
propriated by the public treasury." 

This view of the Roman Catholic church, 
exposed by a senator of the realm, before the 
king and the assembled states of the country, 
contains a censure of that church as bitter as 
any Hussite might have uttered on the same 
subject. It is no wonder, therefore, that the 
reforms proposed by Ostrorog were called by 
Roman Catholic authors, seeds of disobedience 
and rapacity; because their adoption would be 
a complete separation from Rome. Although 
Ostrorog did not attack the tenets of the Roman 
Church, his derision of the indulgences was sap- 
ping their foundation. 

The communion of two kinds which was the 

great object of the Bohemian reformers, was left 

untouched by Ostrorog ; but his bold accusation 

of Roman corruption and abuses, and his decided 

demand for their effective redress, exhibit a spirit 

of opposition no less daring than that of the 

dogmatical reformers of Bohemia, 

Sketch of the Before we conclude this part of our history, we 

church of Po- must givc a brief sketch of the oriental church 

p'Siod""'*^ ** in Poland, which extended its domination over 


a great pait of the country, and constituted an 
element hostile to the Roman see. 

The Slavonians inhabiting the country from 
the lake of Ladoga to Kiof, and from Kiof to the 
Dniester and the Carpathian mountains, being 
converted to Christianity by the influence of 
Constantinople, entered the communion of the 
eastern church. They were divided into several 
tribes, designated by different names, previously 
to the arrival of the Varingians or Normans; 
but since the establishment of the Varingian 
dynasty under Rurik, in the latter part of the 
ninth century, they assumed the general denomi- 
nation of Russians. The successors of Vladimir 
the Great, who divided his extensive empire, 
formed many independent principalities, extend- 
ing from the banks of the Volga to the Carpathian 
ridge; but although those principalities con- 
tinued under the same general denomination of 
the Russian ones, and were ruled by princes 
descending from the same Norman dynasty of 
Rurik, they were separated not only politically, 
but also as regards the origin of their respective 
populations. The north-eastern principalities — 
as, for instance, those of Vladimir, Rezan, Twer — 
were inhabited by a Slavonian race, differing 
much in their habits and dialect from the Sla- 
vonians of the south-western regions. Besides 
the Slavonians, the population of the above-men- 
tioned principalities was composed of a strong 

H 2 

100 SKETCH OF itf|^ 

admixture of Finnish race, entirely distinct from 
the Slavonian. 

The south-western principalities, as those of 
Kiof, Lutzk, Halich, were inhabited by Slavo- 
nians to whom Nestor gives the names of Polane, 
Tivertzec, Buzane, derived^ as he says, from local 
circumstances, and whom he positively states ta 
be the same as the Lechs or Poles inhabiting 
the banks of the Vistula. The Mongols having 
established their domination about the middle of 
the thirteenth century over the north-eastern 
principalities, completed their separation from 
the south-western, which although ravaged by the 
Asiatic invaders, escaped their final domination. 
Amongst those principalities the most important 
was that of Halich, comprising a vast tract of 
rich country situated between Poland, Hungary, 
and Lithuania. The geographical situation of 
that principality established a constant relation 
of war and peace with Poland and Hungary, and 
separated it from the north-eastern states of Rus- 
sia in such a manner that there is no trace of any 
diplomatical intercourse between them, since the 
establishment of the domination of the Mongols. 
The principality of Halich was united to Poland 
in 1340, not by mere conquest, but by the right 
of succession to its sovereignty, claimed by Ca* 
simir the Great at the extinction of the reigning 
family. That wise monarch ensured at once that 
: ilnportant acquisition to his country by confirming 


all ancient rights and privileges of the inhabi- 
tants, and by extending to them all those liberties 
which Poland already enjoyed at that time. 

The other principalities of south-western 
Russia, which since the invasion of the Mongols 
remained in a very disturbed state, were overrun 
and conquered almost without resistance by 
Gedimin, grand-duke of Lithuania, about 1320. 
These principalities, which formed the most im- 
portant provinces of Lithuania, became united 
with Poland by the rule of a common sovereign at 
the accession of the Jaguellonian dynasty to the 
throne of Poland, 1380. Thus Poland acquired 
during the fourteenth century, almost without 
drawing the sword, several million subjects pro- 
fessing the tenets of the Greek church. 

The privileges which were granted to tji^e 
inhabitants of Halich were suspended by the diet 
ofHorodlo, in 1413, when the influence of the 
clergy wrested from the king Jaguellon a law, 
by which all those who did not belong to the 
Roman Catholic church were excluded from the 
office and dignities of the state. This enactment, 
which appears not to have been carried into effect, 
was revoked under the reign of Jaguellon's son, 
Vladislav of Varna, who restored the followers of 
the Greek church to rights equal with those of 
the Roman Catholics, by a solemn decree publish* 
ed in 1443. 

The first metropolitan of Kiof was instituted 


about 990, by the patriach of Constantinople.: 
Since that time the metropolitans of that city, 
who presided over all the churches of Russia, 
continued to be consecrated at Constantinople, 
and were chosen chiefly amongst Greeks. After 
the capture of Constantinople by the Latins, 
when the imperial seat, as well as that of the 
patriarch, were transferred to Nicea, the metro- 
politans of Russia were consecrated in that city 
until the expulsion of the Latins by Michel 
Paleologos, when things returned to their ancient 
order. After the destruction of Kiof by the 
Mongols, 1240, the metropolitans resided gene- 
rally at Vladimir, on the Klasma, in the north* 
western part of Russia, which was the seat of the 
grand-duke of Russia, vassal to the successors of 
Genghischan. After the union of Kiof and other 
principalities of Russia with Lithuania, the 
metropolitans of Vladimir, which was absorbed 
in progress of time by the growing power of 
Moscow, sought to maintain their supremacy over 
those parts by all possible means, and sometimes 
even resided in the country. Notwithstanding 
all those eflforts, a complete separation between 
the Greek churches of Moscow and Lithuania 
took place in 1415, when the bishops of the 
last-named country assembled at Novogrodek, 
elected Gregorius Zamblak metropolitan of Kiof, ^ 
whose successors continued independent of Mos- 
cow, acknowledging the spiritual supremacy of 


the patriarch of Constantinople as long as they 
remained under the domination of Poland. Kiof 
was pillaged, in 1484, at the instigation of Moscow, 
by the chan of Crimea, who sent, as a present 
to the sovereign of Moscow, a part of the church- 
plate plundered at Kiof, 

The Popes have made numerous attempts at 
converting the Russian schismatics, as the follow- 
ers of the eastern church are called by them« 

There seems to have been an intercourse be- 
tween Rome and the grand-duke, Vladimir, who 
established the Christian religion in Russia, in 988, 
as the patriarch of Constantinople advised that 
prince to break off every correspondence with 
the Pope. A bishop was sent by Benedict the 
Eighth to Kiof, but without producing any effect. 
The grand-duke of Kiof, Iziaslaf, being expelled 
from his throne and country by his own brother, 
in 1073, sought refuge at the court of the emperor, 
Henry the Fourth, and dispatched his son to Rome, 
in order to supplicate Gregorius the Seventh to 
restore him to the throne of his country, which 
he offered to submit to the papal domination, spi- 
ritual as well as temporal. Gregorius wrote a 
letter, dated 15th May 1075, to Sviatoslaf, brother 
of the expelled Iziaslaf, admonishing him to relin- 
quish the usurped sovereignty ; but the papal 
admonitions produced no better effect than the 
remonstrances of the emperor, and Iziaslaf having 
recovered his throne after the death of his brother, 


thought no more about the Pope, whose protection 
had proved unable to restore him to his throne. 
The chronicles mention different attempts of the 
Roman see to establish its domination in Russia; 
but we are left in the dark whether those nego- 
tiations were attended with some temporal success 
or not. One circumstance seems to imply that 
the popes had enjoyed some influence at Kiof in 
the end of the eleventh century, as Ephraim, a 
learned Greek, who occupied the metropolitan see 
of Kiof, 1090-96, introduced into the Russian 
calendar, under the date of the 9th May, the com- 
memoration of the translation of the reliques of 
St. Nicolaus from Lycia to Bari in Italy ; a feast 
which is unknown to the old Greek church, but 
observed by the Roman. It is very possible that, 
during the final separation of the eastern from 
the western church, completed by the patriarch 
Michel Cerularius, the metropolitan of Russia 
was wavering in his allegiance between Constan- 
tinople and Rome. Be it as it may, the papal 
domination could never gain a permanent ground 
in the Russian principalities, although that of 
Halich, situated between the Roman Catholic 
countries of Poland and Hungary, and being in 
a continual intercourse with them, was the object 
of its unceasing efforts. The Hungarians having 
occupied Halich under Coloman, tried to subject 
the church of that country to Rome ; but their 
expulsion from the country destroyed the in- 



tended connection with Rome! Daniel, sovereign 
of Halich, a prince distinguished as a warrior and 
a politician, thought that he might derive an ef- 
fective assistance from the Pope against the ter- 
rible Mongols, to whom he was obliged to pay 
tribute, and do personally homage in the camp 
of Genghischan's grandson, Batoo. He, therefore, 
opened a negociation, 1247, with pope Innocen- 
tius the Fourth, who sent a legate to receive 
Daniel into the communion of the Roman church, 
and promised to allow the church of Halich to 
retain all such customs and observances which 
would not be in direct contradicticm to the Roman 
doctrines. Daniel wavered a long time in declar- 
ing openly his spiritual allegiance to Rome, At 
last, in 1254, he accepted from the Pope a crown, 
and the other insignia of royalty ; he was crowned 
by the legate as king of Halich, and formally ac- 
knowledged the supremacy of the Roman pontiff; 
but as the promised assistance did not arrive, he 
broke off, in 1 257, the connexion with Rome, and 
despised all the menacing letters of Alexander 
the Fourth. The Greek clergy of Poland and 
Lithuania sent a delegation to the council of Ba- 
sil ; but they did not come to an understanding 
about a union with the western church. At the 
council of Florence, when the emperor John Pa- 
leologos submitted the oriental church to the 
supremacy of Rome, the metropolitan of Moscow, 
Isidor, a learned Greek, followed the example of 


the emperor, and returned, in 1439, decorated with 
the dignity of a cardinal, and invested with the 
antbority of a legate. He solemnly proclaimed 
the union with Rome, on his return through Po- 
land and Lithuania ; but on his arrival to Moscow 
be was deposed and imprisoned in a convent, 
whence he was fortunate enough at escape. The 
union with Rome produced no immediate effect 
on the Greek church of Poland and Lithuania ; 
it was established there much later, and only then 
when the Jesuits having gained a paramount in- 
fluence in that country, oppressed all religious 
persuasions opposed to the papal domination; 
but at the epoch when the reformation of Luther 
took place, the oriental church in Poland was in 
a most flourishing condition, and its tenets were 
professed by nearly half of the inhabitants of the 
country, amongst whom were many of the noblest 
families of the land.* 

* Besidea the Polish chronicles^ vre have consulted on that 
subject the following works: Karapasin's History of Russia; 
Strahl's Kirchengeschichte von Russland, Beytrage zur Kir- 
chengeschichte in Russland by the same author ; Ecclesiastical 
History of Russia^ by Platon, metropolitan of Moscow^ in 
Riissian; St Petersburg, 1811. 




sixteenth cen- 


Reign of Sigismund the First — 1508-1548. 

We have endeavoured to trace, in the first part c!*chureMn^' 
of our sketch, the religious state of Poland pre- ^„tJon^e 
viously to the reformation of Luther and Zuin- 
glius, who simultaneously attacked the errors 
and abuses of the Roman Catholic church ; and 
we have shown that the domination of that church 
in Poland was strongly undermined by the 
influence of Bohemian doctrines, as well as by 
the liberal institutions of the country. It seems, 
however, that the Polish church was unaware 
of the dangers of its position, and that it supposed 
that the storm which had threatened its exist- 
ence had passed away. Content with having pre- 
served the outward forms of an undisturbed domi- 
nion, the Roman Catholic clergy of Poland did 
not perceive that their moral power was much 


weakened, and that the hold which they had 
over the minds of the people was considerably 
loosened. The synod of Piotrkow, 1510, adopted 
some salutary regulations in order to check the 
avarice of the clergy; it ordered, at the same time, 
that the prebendary stalls should be given to peo- 
ple well versed in the law, and that the parish 
priests shoud be chosen from amongst pious and 
learned clergymen. It prohibited also to the 
priests to have in their houses persons infected 
with heresy, which is a proof of the existence of 
heretics at that time in Poland. A most pre- 
posterous law, enacted by the edict of 1505, 
excluding the non-nobles from the higher digni- 
ties of the church, was confirmed by the synod 
of Lenczyca, in 1523.* 

This unjust and impolitic measure adopted 
by the Polish church naturally alienated from it 
the affections of the excluded class. There were 
also some projects respecting a reformation of the 
university of Cracow, which was acknowledged to 
have many defects, and which probably was the 
cause that many youths belonging to the first 

* Vide Folumina Legum, par. i. By this law a non-noble could 
not become a bishop^ and he who possesed already that dignity 
could not advance higher. There were four canonries^ however^ 
left in every diocese^ which were to be given only to men of 
learning ; and the exclusion from episcopacy was not strictly 
adhered to^ as we see many bishops who attained that eminent 
station^ in spite of their low origin,^ 


Polish families resorted for education to foreign 
universities, and particularly to that of Strasburg, 
notwithstanding they had in their own country 
an university decprated with the pompous name of 
^^the daughter of the SorhonneJ' Many Polish 
students constantly frequented the high school of 
Goldberg, in Silesia, which belonging to the Bo- 
hemian brethren, openly taught doctrines con- 
demned by Rome. A strong feeling against the 
ecclesiastical body was manifested at the diets of 
1501 and 1505, by attempting to curtail the com- 
petence of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, although no 
legal enactment was made for that purpose* The 
public opinion was so strong against the influence 
of the clergy, that the decrees of ecclesiastical 
courts fell into general contempt. The secular 
magistrates assumed a superiority over the spiritual 
tribunals, and investigated the competency of 
their jurisdiction, as well as the justice of their 
decrees, which were generally left unexecuted* 
The priestly excommunications, as they did not 
imply the loss of political rights, produced no ef- 
fect whatever.* The influence of the clergy 
exacted from Sigismund the First an ordinance, 

* By the statute of Vislitza, 1346, it was enacted, that in a 
case when the evidence' of an excommunicated person was re- 
quisite on a judicial trial, and the authority -^hich had excom- 
municated the witness refused to absolve him, his evidence was 
received by the court; and considered as valid as that of any 
other person. 


in 1510, which enjoined to the Starosts* to compel 
the excommunicated persons to ask for absolution. 
The starost who Would liot execute that order, or 
permit himself to examine the decree of the spi- 
ritual court, was to be excommunicated himself. 
This royal mandate could not, however, be 
effectual, as, according to our ancient constitution, 
an ordinance issued by the king became law only 
4 when it was confirmed by a diet, but which 
has never been the case with the above-mentioned 
regulation concerning the excommunicated indi- 
Anti-Romanist Evcu bcfoTc LuthcT had publicly proclaimed 
Hshed hTpo. h^s auimadversious against the abuses of Kome, 
iSore'SI bT" they were openly censured in Poland. The works 
EUomt <fe Vera cultu Dei and de Matrimonio Sacerdo- 

turn, which were published at Cracow, in 1504, 
contained doctrines which Rome regarded as here- 
sy. The epistle of Bernard of Lublin to Symon of 
Cracow, 1515, positively expresses that "the 



♦ The starosts (capUanei or prafecti) were of two kinds : 
viz» the starosts with a jurisdiction {capUanei castrenses)^ and 
those without jurisdiction. The former were put in command 
of castles and townS) and had very extensive authority in those 
places ; the latter were only holders of royal estates, for which 
they paid to the sovereign a small rent. 

f This regulation, published in 1511 at Brest^ in Lithuania, 
is not inserted amabgat the Constitutumes of the Diet, or parlia- 
mentary bills of the kingdom of Poland^ and, consequently^ it 
is evident that it has never received force of law. 


Gospels only must be believed, and that human 
ordinances may be dispensed with." This was the 
effect of the general intellectual movement which 
at that time pervaded all Europe, and in which 
Poland, impregnated with Hussite opinions, 
was certainly not behind the other countries. 

The reformation of Luther was rapidly com- J^^jnes^Scu- 
municated to Poland, which had a frequent and !s*« "^ PoUsh- 

' ^ Prussia very 

constant intercourse with Grerman y in ireneral, and ?oo" a^^r they 

•^ ^ had been pro- 

Wittenberg in particular, as many young Poleij^^^rttaedatwit- 
resorted to the university of that city. The effects 
of the Saxon reformation began, however, to be 
manifested at first in Polish- Prussia. This flou- 
rishing provin ce submitt ed voluntarily toJ kiBg_ 
Casimir the Third, in order to escape the oppres- 
sion of its rulers, the Teutonic knights. After 
a long war with the order. Prussia becam e finally . 

inr>n^'P0]'nt^/l wiili PnlanH in Idfifi; it prpfiprved /^ 

^r^w^^on^ qH i>cy rig lita and pr ivilpiffp^sT ^Tld bning 
peopled chiefly in towns by German settlers* it was 
Tman in its language, habits, and relationSy 

gzic was the chief town of thflti pi'^vinrPj 
and, by^ its iaveuraWe m tu a ti on, the^incipal 
emporium of Poland with the west of Europe. 
Its constant intercourse with Germany rendered 
it particularly accessible to the doctrines of Luther, 
which found there an echo, soon after they had 
been proclaimed at Wittenberg. Already (1 51 8) a 
monk, called James Knade, a native of Dantzic, \/r 





threw off his habit, took a wife, and began publicly 
to preach in that city against Rome. Knade was 
accused by the bishop of Cujavia, tried, and impri- 
soned. After some time, however, he was released 
from prison, but obliged to leave Dantzic. He 
retired to a nobleman named Krokow, living in 
the vicinity of Thorn, and quietly preached his 
doctrines under the patronage of Krokow, who 
was sheltered, by his privileges as a nobleman, 
from the persecution of the clergy. The seeds 
sown by Knade were not lost at Dantzic ; and 
v^Tohn Benchenstein began, in 1520, to attack the 
abuses of Romanism; and his example was follow* 
ed, in 1522, by John Bonhald, and by the preacher 
AffoinofDant- of St. Barbara's church, Mathis Benewald in 1523. 

) John Hegge, surnamed Winkelblack, publicly 
preached before the inhabitants of Dantzic the 
first anti-romanist sermon. Several other cler- 
gymen commenced proclaiming similar opinions. 
These innovations produced a considerable sensa- 
tion in Poland, and king Sigismund the First is- 
sued, on the 23d November 1523, an order to the 
town-council of Dantzic, enjoining them to main- 
tain the existing religion and prohibiting to make 
any changes. The council did not entirely fulfil 
the royal mandate, and was very probably unable 
to do so. It recommended (1524) that the abuses of 

[ the church should be examined with great mode- 
ration ; and it allowed the monks to preach and 
to receive auricular confession. They were only 



to be tolerated, however, but neither persecuted 
nor insulted. The council evidently sought to 
alleviate the growing irritation of minds against 
the inveterate abuses of the church, by adopting 
some reforms urgently demanded by public opi- 
nion. But the dispositions of the inhabitants 
of Danzic were not so moderate as those of their 
council, and they unanimously required more 
decisive reforms. Alexander, a Franciscan monk, 
and the above-mentioned John Hegge, two bold 
reformers, took possession of the churches of St. 
Mary and of St. Catherine, at the request of the 
parishioners. The town council neither con- 
firmed nor suppressed these proceedings, but the 
Polish clergy resolved to put down with a strong 
hand the incipient heresy. The archbishop of 
Gniezno, John Laski, repaired himself to Danzic, 
where he commenced proceedings against tku in- 
novating clergy, of whom one called Paul was cast 
into prison by his orders. But the fermentation 
of minds was so strong at Danzic, that the archbi- 
shop suspended his proceedings, ordered the impri- 
soned Paul to beset at liberty, and left the town. 
This failure of the archbishop emboldened the 
reforming party, and they invited Luther to give 
an organization to the evangelical congregation 
of their town. Five churches were taken from 
Romanist clergymen, and entrusted to such as 
favoured reformation. This reform was, however, 
very indefinite, and it only sought to remove sortie 

VOL. I. I 


crying abuses, instead of effecting a thorough 
reformation of the church, and promoting the 
establishment of a new order based on scriptural 
grounds and the practice of the primitive church ; 
because the ceremonies of the Roman church, as 
well as its fundamental dogmas, were preserved 

J by the Danzic reformers. 
The town council of Danzic was thrown into a 
very difficult position, being placed between their 
duty to the king, who had formally prohibited any 
innovations, and the inhabitants of the city, whose 
antiromanist bias grew every day more decided. 
They never originated any change, but acknow-r 
ledged those that were made without requiring 
their advice. It seems, however, that they were 
afraid that these religious innovations might lead 
to political changes, and that their oligarchical 
power might be destroyed by the infusion of 
democratic elements. The dangers which they 
apprehended were accelerated by an untimely 
display of authority. Having imprisoned some 
of the most daring reformers, they excited an 
insurrection. The armed inhabitants took pos- 
session of the town, and twelve principal citizens 
r^uired the council, on the 22d of January 
1525, to call a general meeting, in order to pro- 
claim a reformation of the church. This meeting 
adopted some exceedingly moderate regulations. 
The monastic orders were still to be tolerated, but 
their members were at liberty to leave them. 


The monks were prohibited to preach even in 
private, to collect alms, and to say nightly masses. ^ 
New novices were not allowed to be received: ^ 
mass was preserved , and nothing was to be touched 
in the churches until the pleasure of the king of 
Poland should be known. The council approved 
all those regulations in order to calm the insur^ 
gents ; but their ready compliance, where in fact ^ 
they could not oppose, was unable to avert po^ 
litical innovations « Four thousand armed inha- Revolutionary 
bitants surrounded the Town -hall with pointed eflfected by the 
cannons, and compelled the council to dissolve Danzic. 
themselves, and to sign a declaration that it was ^ 
by their own actions that they had provoked the 
insurrection. A new council was elected ; but the 
former burgomaster, Bishoff, was re-elected, havingSy. 
succeeded by his adroit conduct in becoming po- / 
pular with the movement party, and to preserve at ^ 
the same time his favour with the aristocracy of J 
the city and the Roman Catholics. The new 
council, urged by the inhabitants, extended further 
the hitherto insignificant measures of church 
reformation. The monastic establishments were 
closed ; the Roman Catholic mode of worship 
was entirely abolished ; the treasures of the 
church declared public property, but left un- 
touched. The convents and other edifices devoted 
to the use of the clergy were converted into 
schools and hospitals. The council, as well as 
the inhabitants, anxious to prove that the reforms 

I 2 



introduced by them related only to religious 
matters, and had no political character, sent a 
message to the king of Poland, declaring their 
unshaken allegiance to his crown, and expecting 
that he would confirm the new order of things, 
which did not impair the rights of his sove- 

Sigismund seems to have been at first unde- 
cided as to the line of policy which he was to fol- 
low on that occasion. A war in which he was in- 
volved at that time with Albert duke of Prussia* 
forbad him to resort to any strong measures. 

* Since 1466, the possessions of the Teutonic order in 
Prussia were divided into two parts : one of them became a 
Polish province^ and continued under the same dominion tiU 
the partition of 1772^ when a part of it was seized by Prussia^ 
which completed her spoliations by appropriating to itself 
the rest of that province, with the town of Danzic, at the 
second partition of Poland in 1792. This province^ although 
forming an integral part of the Polish dominions, preserved, 
till its final dismemberment, a separate legislation and adminis- 
tration, and was considered a dependency of the crown, and 
not of the kingdom of Poland. It stood in the same relation to 
Poland as that in which the Channel Islands stand to England. 
The other part of Prussia remained under the dominion of 
the Teutonic order after the peace of Thorn in 1466, till 1525, 
when the last grand master of the order, Albert of Brandeburg, 
having embraced Lutheranism, it waa constituted into a 
sovereign hereditary dukedom, but vassal to the crown of 
Poland. The supremacy of Poland was resigned by the treaty 
of Wehlau, in 1666, and in 1701, Prussia was erected into a 
kingdom by the emperor Leopold the First. 


which, by irritating the minds of the people, might 
easily induce them to raise the banner of revolt, 
and join the enemy. The example of Danzic 
might be imitated by Thorn, Elbing, and other 
cities of Polish Prussia, and even alienate all the 
inhabitants of that important province from the 
Polish domination. These considerations were 
probably the motives which induced the king to 
temporise till he had concluded peace with the 
duke Albert. The general conduct of Sigismund 
the First towards the adherents of reformed doc- 
trines, which under his reign spread rapidly over 
all the Polish dominions, induces us to think that 
he would have abstained from every violent pro- 
ceeding, had he aot been prompted by political 
considerations to repress by force a revolutionary 
movement which, having effected the separation 
from the church of one of the principal cities of 
the land, might easily have led to its alienation 
from the empire. A deputation of the ancient town 
council of Danzic, dressed in mourning, appeared 
before the monarch, supplicating him to save the 
city, which was going to be utterly ruined by the 
iatroduction of heresy, and to restore by his own 
authority the ancient order of things ; they assured 
him at the same time that the ancient senate or 
council, the principal citizens, and a great part of 
the inhabitants, were favourable to such a restora*- 
tion. The king issued a mandate, enjoining the in- 
habitants of Danzic to restore the ancient religious 



and political order, and to abolish all the innova- 
tions. The council, in its own name and in that 
of the inhabitants, presented a justification of their 
proceedings. The members of the council were 
summoned to appear before the tribunal of the 
king ; but as they did not obey the summons, the 
Diet assembled at Piotrkow, in February 1626, 
pronounced a decree of outlawry against Danzic, 
and abolished its privileges and franchises, unless 
the ancient order of things should be restored. 
The same Diet authorised the king's journey to 
Danzic, in order to pacify that city ; but it ordered 
no levy of troops, and it was understood that this 
affair should be arranged by conciliatory means. 

Division and uncertainty prevailed amongst the 
inhabitants of Danzic wheQ the king arrived, 
at the beginning of April, at Marienburg. The 
staunch adherents of reformation foresaw the 
danger that threatened the newly-established 
order, and advised the gates of the city to be shut, 
the inhabitants to be armed, and every means 
prepared for a desperate resistance ; but the bur- 
gomaster Bishoff, who secretly favoured the an- 
cie^^t order of things, dissuaded them from adopting 
ecach a bold line of conduct, which would have 
ensured favourable terms for the reforming party; 
the inhabitants of Danzic therefore decided on a 
middle course, and resolved to give admission to 
the monarch, but at the same time to take some 
measures of defence. Salicetus, one of the prin- 


cipal leaders of the reforming party, was delegated 
to compliment the monarch on his arrival. He was 
received with courtesy, and even admitted to the 
royal council during a deliberation on the best 
means to arrange the misunderstandings ; he re- 
turned therefore with the conviction that the king 
would agree to maintain, although with some mo- 
difications, the newly-established religious and 
political order. Several dignitaries of the state 
preceded the arrival of the monarch, who made 
his entrance on the 17th April, and was received 
in a respectful and solemn manner by the armed 
citizens, who presented an aspect resembling 
rather the hostile array of an army than a com- 
mercial community. When the king ordered the 
people to be disarmed, the cannons to be with- 
drawn, and the keys of the city gates to be deliver- 
ed to him, he met with a respectful but decided 
denial. The council refused to make any conces- 
sions whatever ; but took no necessary measures 
to prevent the king from overturning the existing 
order, which Sigismund formed the project of 
doing in a bold and decisive manner. The 
armed retainers of his lords continually, but 
quietly, entered the city; the Catholic nobles 
of Polish Prussia arrived in great force, and the 
vassal dukes, Albert of Prussia and Barnim of 
Pomerania, brought their troops. 

Secured by a formidable array of forces, prompt* sigismund the 
ed by the members of the ancient council, as Poland, sup- 


presses by a Well as by many chief citizens, averse to the new 
thority the^Re- form of government more than to the religious 

formation and i ji* ^i«« a. 

the new poll- cbangcs, and observmg a great disunion amongst 
DMz^cfwid" the reforming party, king Sigismund the First 
cien7poiiti<^' rcsolvcd to rcstorc the ancient order in religion 
state of things, and pditics, by a display of royal authority. The 

members of the ancient and new council, as well 
as the heads of the several companies of trades 
and artisans, were summoned before the king, and 
being demanded by the court marshal Kmita 
whether they had preserved their allegiance to the 
monarch, renewed their oath of fidelity. The 
reformers were terror-struck by the overwhelming 
forces of the king, and when a motion was made 
in the council to restore the Roman Catholic 
worship, it did not meet with any opposition. The 
king ordered Salicetus, as well as twenty of the 
principal leaders of the movement, to be impri- 
soned, and thirty others, who fled, were summoned 
to appear befoi'e the royal tribunal. They were 
tried, fifteen of them beheaded, and the rest exiled. 
The fate of Salicetus, the chief promoter of the 
revolution, is particularly interesting. He demand- 
ed to plead his cause himself before the king, and 
was permitted to do so. In the presence of the 
principal citizens of the town, he defended his 
case with great eloquence, asserting that in all 
his actions he did nothing but execute the will of 
the majority of the inhabitants. But the burgo- 
master BishofTy who had feigned to be a friend 



to the Reformation, stood up as his accuser, and 
charged him with having, by his own authority, 
taken the gold and silver vessels of the churches, 
preached Lutheranism to the people, and erected 
a gallows and scaffi>ld before his tribunal. Sali* 
cetus appealed to the evidence of the citizens 
there present, that he had acted by their consent 
and authorization : but those wretches, acting under 
the influence of terror, denied his statement, upon 
which Salicetus discontinued his defence, and 
calmly resigned himself to his fate.* 

A new council was elected, and it confirmed 
without opposition the re-establishment of the 
ancient religious and political order. Severe re- 
guls^tions were enacted by the triumphant Roman* 
ists, in order to prevent a new revolution. 
Whoever refused to return into the pale of the 
church during the space of a fortnight, was to 
leave the town under the penalty of death. The 
monks and nuns who had broken their vows 
were condemned to banishment. The propagation 
of doctrines opposed to the. Roman Catholic 
church, either public or private, was prohibited 
under pain of death and confiscation of property; 

* Vide Raynaldus, Bzovius, Koyalowicz^ Bielski, ad ann. 
1526. Friese Beytr&ge zur Reformations Geschichte^ vol. i. 
Hartknoch Preussische kirchen geschichte. Chytreus Rerum 
Prussicarum. Schiksale der Disddenten in Poland, &e. &c. The 
Roman Catholic writers are unanimous with the Protestant 
authors in relating this transaction. 



Reasons for 
believing that 
this reaction 
was brought 
iU)Out by poli- 
tical, and not 
religious mo- 

evenevery publication, image, or print against the 
Roman Catholic church was to be punished by 
exile and confiscation of property ; whoever dared 
to have any communication with the exiles was 
to forfeit his property^ The captains of vessels 
were obliged to answer for the orthodoxy of their 
crews. The rights of citizenship were to be given 
only to Catholics of unsuspected faith. A meeting 
of three or four men or women, with a view of 
changing the established order, was punishable 
with death, and every stranger who endeavoured 
to spread false doctrines could be arbitrarily 
punished by the authorities of the town.* 

King Sigismund left Danzic in the month of 
July 1626, after having effected a sanguinary 
counter-revolution, which, as we have already 
expressed, was caused rather by political than 
religious grounds. Indeed, we can scarcely have 
any doubt that the fear of a dangerous example, 
which Dantzic would have given > to the other 
parts of the Polish dominions, by the subviersion 
of the existing form of government, and the 
introduction of a new one, acted more powerfully 
on the king's mind than the anxiety to preserve 

^ Vide Volumina Legum^ ordinatio civitatis Gedanensis, anno 
1526. This iniquitous ordinance, which by the rapid progress 
of Protestant doctrines became soon a dead letter, was abro- 
gated by an ordinance of king Sigismund Augustus, formally 
granting the free exercise of religion to Danzic and other towns 
of Polish Prussia. 


i^nimpaired the domination of the Roman Catho- 
lic church, which began at that time to be assailed / 
in all parts of Poland* We are confirmed in our 
opinion that the above-mentioned reaction was 
produced by political and not religious motives, 
by the important circumstance, that Albert duke 
of Prussia, who had himself recently embraced 
Lutheranism, and established it as a dominant 
religion in his states, lent a ready assistance to 
king Sigismund the First against the reformers \/ 
of Danzic. The same ordinance, the severe regu- 
lations of which against the opponents of Roman- 
ism we have quoted, concentrated the government 
of the city in the hands of a few, carefully excluding 
the multitude from any share in public affairs. 
The subsequent conduct of Sigismund manifested 
throughout his reign a great toleration of religious 
opinions, whenever they did not interfere with 
the public order and the authority of the monarch. 
We have even a public avowal of Sigismund's 
apprehensions lest the religious changes might 
be conducive to the subversion of political order * 

* The territorial councils of Polish Prussia having refused 
to pay the tithes to the bishop of Vladislav, king Sigismund 
expressed^ in his ordinance of January 1528^ at Piotrkow, the 
following opinion : ^< Docentes nos quasi novum aut desuUorium 
Christuinum de lege gratuB, de sublato scLcerdotio kvUicOy de rum 
amtribuendo Pastoribus nisi pascant, et aliis tritis aposolarum 
cantilenis non temperantes interim ah aculeis in suum Episcopum. 
Qua est ista nova Christiana ratio si per legem gratia liber 
est populuSf a sdvendis decimis, eadem lege liber est erit a sohendis 



Spread of Lu- The cffccts of Luther's reformation on Polish 

theranism in , 

other parts of Prussia Were not confined to Dantzic, but simulta- 

neously spread over many parts of that provmce. 
The reformed doctrines began to be propagated 
Thorn in 1520 and in 1521, Although there 
was not yet any congregation publicly professing 
those doctrines, they were so popular with the 
inhabitants of the town, that when Zacharias 
Fereira, legate of the Pope, arrived in the above- 
mentioned year at Thorn, and proceeded to burn 
with great solemnity before the church of St. John 
the portrait and the writings of Luther, they pelted 
him and his assistants with stones, and having 
compelled them to flee, saved Luther's portrait 
from the flames. A riot which was occasioned in 
that city in 1525, by the inhabitants, who loudly 
demanded the introduction of the reformation, 
was appeased by the authorities with conciliatory 

tribtttis, qu€B aliis ordinibus aut potestatibus debentur. Si non 
pendendutn est pastari nisi pascat ei doceai, rum pendendum sii 
etiam a plebe suus census ordini out stcUui mHitari nisi miUtetf 4 
populum dei tuetur. At que he sunt iUa evangelica rtUiones, quce 
nunc orbem terrarum tumuUibus perjuriis ac sacrilegiis implent 
tales littercLS talibus impiis dogmatibus consutos miseretis.* — ^voL 
leg. 1. Rajnaldus ad ann.. 1528. The territorial councils of 
Prussia, which demanded the abolidon of tithes, maintained at 
that time the customary forms of R<Hnan CathoHe worship. 
It is remarkable that Sigismund^ who had violently suppressed 
the reformation at Danzic in 1526, combated only by reason- 
ings^ in 1528, the attacks of the Prussians on a very essential 
part of the Roman Catholic church establishment. 


means. At Elbing, a strong inclination towards 
the reformed doctrines was publicly manifested 
in 1523. At Braunsberg, the seat of the bishop of 
Warmia^orErmeland, Lutheran worship was pub- 
licly introduced as early as 1520, and the bishop, 
Lusignan, made no attempt at persecuting the 
reformers. He seems to have been favourably 
inclined to Luther; because when the canons of his 
chapter reproached his toleration, he answered 
them, that Luther founded all that he advanced 
on the scriptures, and that whoever felt himself r^ S 

competent to the task, should refute his assertions. ^ 

Many other towns of Prussia were introducing / 
reformation, but since its violent suppression at 
Danzic in 1526, a Roman Catholic reaction took 
place over all that province, and the ancient mode 
of worship was almost every where re-established. 

This reaction, however, did not produce any 
lasting effect in Polish Prussia, and the seeds of 
reformation had already struck root in that 
province too deejJy to be eradicated by any legal 

Notwithstanding the severe regulations of 1 626, a Their revirai at 


Dominican monk called Klein began to preach at J^ 
Danzic, in 1534, scriptural doctrines, but without 
openly separating himself from the Roman church. 
In 1537 he abandoned the monastic habit, and be- 
ing nominated by the authorities of the city preacher 
of the church of St. Mary, he ejected the images 
from that temple, and introduced the Lutheran 


mode of worship. This decided innovation was 
neither approved nor condemned by the town 
council, and the king paid no more attention to 
ity but contented himself by issuing an order pro- 
hibiting violent publications against the church 
of Rome* The daily progress of reformation in 
Danzic induced Sigismund to nominate a com- 
mission of bishops, who arrived at Danzic, and 
began their proceedings by imprisoning Klein; 
but public opinion at that place was already so 
strong in favour of the Reformation, that the 
bishops were obliged to release Klein, who re- 
mained unmolested till his death, in 1546, and to 
retire without producing any effect whatever. The 
reformed doctrines also gained ground in many 
other towns of Prussia, and received a strong im- 
pulse by the arrival of the Bohemian brethren, 
in 1548 ; a circumstance of which we shall have an 
opportunity to speak hereafter, as well as of the 
final triumph of Lutheranism in Polish Prussia. 
The doctrines The duchy of Mazovia, bordering on Prussia, 

of the reforma- "^ , , . i t^ i i a 

tion met with and at that time not yet united with Poland,* 

little success in ... 

the duchy of adopted vcry severe measures agamst the intro- 
duction of the reformed doctrines. Duke Janusz 
proclaimed, at the diet of Warsaw, a regulation 

* The duchy of Mazovia formed a separate state since the 
partition of Poland by Boleslav the Thirds or Wrymouth^ be- 
tween his four sons^ in 1139. It was united with Poland 1526^ 
a few months after the restoration of Romanism at Danzic^ 
when its last duke, Janusz^ died without issue« . 



prohibiting the propagation of heresy, in whatever 
language, or by whatever means, under pain 
of death and confiscation of property ; the prohi- 
bition extended to the reading and possession of 
suspicious works, and no condition or dignity, 
however high, could screen the offenders from 
punishment. Whether owing to the severity of the 
law, or to the comparatively lower degree of the 
general information of the inhabitants of that part 
of Poland, the reformed doctrines never gained 
ground in Mazovia, although there were many 
individual conversions to Protestantism. The 
Mazovian nuncios distinguished themselves by 
constantly advocating the cause of Rome at the 
Diets, and it is supposed that amongst the motives 
which prompted Sigismund the Third to transfer 
the royal residence from Cracow to Warsaw, the 
capital of Mazovia, the orthodoxy of thatprovince 
was a reason no less powerful in the eyes of that 
bigoted monarch, than the central position of the 
new metropolis. 

The Roman Catholic clergy of Poland having Different reso- 
obtained a signal, although momentary triumph by the r. c. 
over the reformed doctrines in Polish Prussia, ikn^in order 

, . 1 .1 , , X xi_ to arrest the 

sought by every possible means to prevent the progress of the 
spread of heresy, and to extirpate it altogether ®^""*^®"' 
from all the Polish dominions. Many books were 
published in Poland against Luther and his doc- 
trines. The synod of Lenczyca, in 1527, recom- 
mended the re-establishment of the tribunal of the 


Holy Inquisition, subject to the authority of the 
bishops. It recommended also some measures more 
congenial with the nature of an ecclesiastical au- 
thority, as for instance, that the bishops should 
appoint learned preachers to guide the people 
with a sound doctrine, avoiding all kind of scho- 
lastics, more apt to destroy than to edify the faith- 

The synod of Piotrkow, in 1530, particularly 
enjoined measures to prevent the introduction of 
heretical wrij^jiga— 3Qie synod of Lenczyca, 1632, 
regMaHlended the adoption of the mo^t severe mea- 
sures against the heretics. t The same synod and 
that of Piotrkow endeavoured to introduce some 
reforms amongst the clergy, but particularly to 
render effective the ecclesiastical jurisdiction. 
But the synod which made the most important 
enactments in order to suppress the rapidly grow* 
ing heresy is that which was held at Piotrkow 
in 1542. 
Prohibition to The influence of the clergy obtained from King 
to frequent Sigismuud the First^ in 1534, an order prohibiting 
versiues " "°*" the Polish studcuts from resorting to the foreign 

* ^'Omittentes in concumibus questiones sckolasticas et exempla 
somniata qua cordes Jidelium distrahere poitus quam edificare 
videfUur,*' — Vide Janocki. 

f *^Ui cunctis hereticis dejlmtm SarmatuB ea^pulsisy populus 
Ckrisiianus in sinceritateJideipertistat**^^Const3^tiones Syno- 


universities, conducted by heretical professors, 
and recalling all those who studied there. The 
youths who, disregarding the royal injunction, 
should continue their studies in the prohibited 
academies, were to be punished by the exclusion 
from all dignities and offices; and those who 
should repair thither in spite of the prohibition, 
were to be subjected to still heavier penalties. 
This ordinance could not, however, produce any - / 
effect, as it had no force of law, not having been* K. 
confirmed by the Diet, and consequently was not 
obligatory, particularly on the nobles, who, shel- 
tered by their constitutional privileges from every 
arbitrary restriction, continued to frequent the 
prohibited universities, and particularly that of 
Wittenberg, the cradle and the seat of Luther- 
anism. The ordinances against the Anabaptists, 
published at Cracow in 1535, and against the Lu- ^ 
therans, published at Vilna the same year, as well 
as that by which, in 1541, the king menaced to / 
punish with loss of nobility all those who should 
have in their houses heretical priests, remained 
likewise a dead letter. This is sufficiently proved 
by the acts of the above-mentioned synod of 
Piotrkow, which passed a resolution that the 
king should be requested to carry into execution 
his own ordinances against heresy. The same 
synod enacted that parents should be prohi- 
bited from sending their children to the heretical 
schools ; the reading of the works of Luther and 

VOL. I. K 

«-f ■ • 


Melancthon, which had been done by many under 
the pretence of confuting them, was prohibited ; 
and recommended to search the houses of the in- 
habitants in order to discover heretical writings. 
The local authorities were also ordered to keep a 
watchful eye over the booksellers and printers, to 
confiscate the suspicious works, and to punish sum- 
marily the offenders. This enactment was, how- 
Aroyaiordi- .ever, insufficient to enslave the press, as it had 
lishes the li- *been declared free by a royal decree of 1539. 
press in Poland The Bohemiaus, who were frequently employed in 

Poland as tutors, became the objects of particular 
animadversion with the above-mentioned synod, 
which moreover enjoined that the existence of 
Hussites, their conventicles, and their writings, 
should be the subjects of investigation. The same 
synod recommended the regulations of the Holy 
Inquisition as an example to be followed, and a rule 
to be adopted, in all proceedings against heresy 
and heretics. The synod of Piotrkow, in 1544, con- 
firmed the enactments of that of 1542, with some 
new injunctions against the studying at the Luthe- 
ran universities in Germany. All those enactments 
which the above-mentioned synods had proclaim- 
ed against the reformed doctrines, were entirely 
fruitless, as the constitutional liberties of the 
country, which carefully circumscribed the eccle- 
siastical jurisdiction, rendered it almost impos- 
sible for the clergy to persecute those whom they 
considered as heretics deserving of the most severe 



punishment.* And the synod of Piotrkow, 1547, 
was obliged to confess that the church was in 
great danger from heresy, which had spread over J}^^ ^^^} of 
every diocese, and even infected the clergy itself, grants to the 

^ . inhabitants of 

We must add, that at the Diet of Cracow, m 1543, Poland the 
the freedom of studying in the foreign universities studying at the 
was formally granted to all Polish subjects.! versities. 

• The acts of many synods, held during that period, are full 
of complaints against the contempt with which the authority of 
he ecclesiastical courts was treated. Several enactments of the 
Polish legislation evince a strong jealousy and hostile feeling 
against the clergy. The Diet of 1538 prohibited, under severe 
penalties, to the Polish clergy to receive any dignities from the 
apostolical see, a prohibition which was repeated many times 
afterwards. The annates were abolished in 1543. The estates of 
the church were subjected to the general taxes in 1544; and in 
1565 it was enacted that a clergyman guilty of any crime or 
offence, should be tried by the ordinary tribunal, and not by the 
ecclesiastical courts. 

•j* We must not omit a remarkable event which happened at / 
Cracow under the reign of Sigismund the First. — Catherine ^ 
Weygel, wife of Melchior Weygel, a goldsmith and alderman of 
Cracowy a woman eighty years of age, was tried before the 
ecclesiastical court on a charge of apostasy to the Jewish reli- 
gion. When inquired of about her creed, she answered ; '^ I be-r 
lievethe existence of one God> who has created all the visible 
and invisible world, who cannot be conceived by human intel-^ 
lect." But she is said to have denied the truths revealed by the 
Gospel. She persevered in her opinion, notwithstanding the ad- 
monitions of her judges^ who represented to her the dangerous 
consequences of her conduct, and was burnt in the market-place 
of Cracow. Gornicki, a contemporary historian, who relates that 
event, says that she suffered death with the most heroic cou- 

K 2 ^ag^- 


racter"of si^s. After having enumerated the principal mea-- 
mund the ist. gu^es relating to the religious matters which were 

adopted in Poland under the domination of Si« 
gismund the First, we shall endeavour to give a 
sketch of the personal character and opinions of 
that monarch, as they necessarily exercised a 
marked influence over the fate of the reformed 
doctrines, which under his reign gained ground 
in Poland. 

Sigismund the First ascended the throne of 
Poland after the demise of his brother Alexan- 
der in 1506, when he was already forty years old. 
He had received an excellent litemry education, 
under the tuition of the celebrated Italian scholar 
Philip Buonaccorsi, better known ^nder the 
assumed name of Callimachus EjcperienSy who, 
obliged to flee from his own country, found an 
honourable reception at the court of Casimir the 

rage. The acts of the consistory of Cracow record the crime 
imputed to that unfortunate woman exactly as it is described 
by Gomicki. Vide Bandke's History of Poland, vol. ii. page 
109, tliird edition in Polish. But StanislavBudzinski, a Sodnian 
writer^ who calls her Zalaszowska^ pretends that she was the 
first Sodnian in Poland. Vide Supplement to Sandius' Nucvbis 
kistoruB^ ecclesiastics exkibitus in historia Arianomm, ann. 
1:676, p^ge 86. Lubieniecki maintains that she denied only the 
dogma of transubstantiation. The execution of that deluded 
woman, so contrary to the national character, was chiefly caused 
by the influence of Gamrat, a favourite of queen Bona, whose 
influence raised him to the episcopal see of Cracow^ and who 
was notorious for his profligate life* 


Third, king of Poland, who intrusted him with 
the education of his sons. He was of a noble, 
upright character, gifted with great personal as 
well as moral courage, which he displayed on 
many a trying occasion ; but the leading feature 
of his character was indolence, and a goocmess 
of heart which often degenerated into weakness ; 
two qualities characteristic of the Jaguellonian 
family. This circumstance accounts for the 
wavering line of conduct which that monarch 
constantly pursued in matters relating to the 
religious discussions which began to agitate the 
Polish dominions under his reign. He frequently 
proclaimed most severe ordinances against re- 
ligious innovations, in order to satisfy the 
importunities of the clergy and some bigotted 
senators ; but he never put them into execution, / 
except in the case of Danzic, which, as we 
have already shown, was considered in a poli- 
tical, and not a religious point of view. When 
Nicolaus Bedlinski,inquisitor of Cracow, declared 
James of Ilza, preacher of St. John's church, 
in that city, an avowed heretic, the king inter- 
fered, and would not allow him to be punished. 
When the celebrated adversary of Martin Lu- 
ther, John Eck, or Eckius, dedicated to Sigis- 
mund his work against Luther, engaging him 
to persecute the heretics, and recommending to 
him as an example deserving of imitation the 
conduct of Henry the Eighth, king of England, 


^ho was at that time much opposed to Luther, 
and had himself just published a work against 
the German reformer, Sigismund answered, that 
be wished to be monarch equally of sheep and 

goats.* Some grandees, as Gorka, Ostrorog, &c, 

■ - -- ■ - ■ .. 

* Ad invicttssimum PoUmia regem Sigismundum de Sacrv' 
Jicio missa contra Lutheranos, lib. ii. Johanne Eckio authore 
]526. The dedication is dated 15th February, Ingohtadt. 
The passage of the king's answer to which we have alluded 
is as follows. " Fluere scecula et in illis mutantur regna, 
mentes legumlatorum, Obsoleta erunt nuper scientice, nunc 
renascuntur. Scribal rex Henricus contra Martinum, PermUtas 
mihijieri avium et hircorum regem, Obsecro superos ut velint 
jungere studium Leonis decimi pietatis. Leonis primi. Si vero 
corruptio pro moribus, scandalum pro edificatione, inter Chris- 
tianos habenda sint, venient infausta tempora, ubi rex et 
pastor gregis Christi squallido erunt induti tkorace." We 
must confess that the passage we have just now quoted bears 
the stamp, not so much of that toleration which is inspired 
by the true spirit of Christian charity, as of a philosophical 
indifference about religious matters^ of which the learned 
Italians of that period were generally accused. — Vide Hallam's 
Introduction to the Literature of Europe of the Fifteenth 
Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries^ vol. i. page 504. Whether 
that accusation was just or unjust, it would be foreign to 
our subject to investigate; we shall only add that Sigis« 
mund's tutor, Buonaccorsi^ belonged to a society which 
particularly laboured under that charge; vide Sismondi, His' 
ioire de la LittSrature du Midi, vol. ii. page lS4t. We cannot 
omit relating an anecdote of the same monarch, which must 
have given great offence to the bigotted Romanists. When 
the archbishop Laski boasted before him of having covered 
the church-yard of his hereditary town, Lask, with earth 
brought from Jerusalem, the king said : ^' You would h^^- 



having openly embraced the reformed doctrines, 
were anathematized by the clergy, but conti^- 
nued to enjoy the favour of the sovereign, and 
were employed in places of trust and confi- 
dence. Albert of Brandeburg, nephew to king 
Sigismund, and grand master of the Teutonic 
Knights of Prussia, put an end to the existence 
of that order in 1624, by marrying a wife, 
and embracing Lutheranism. Albert's change 
of religion was followed by all the possessions 
of the prder, and Sigismund sanctioned that 
evolution by a treaty, in 1625, which is the 
fii*st instance of secularization in history, and by 
which Lutheranism was for the first time diplo- 
matically acknowledged as an established re- 
ligion.* A proof that he was not considered by ^ 
his contemporaries as very bigotted is, that the 
Protestant princes of Germany sought to prevail 
upon him, by the offer of great advantages^ 
to enter the ligue^ of Smalcalden, formed for the 
defence of Protestantism. f Sigismund married, 
stfter the demise of his first queen Barbai-a, 

done much better by manuring your sandy grounds with the 
rich soil of Proszowice," a district celebrated for its fertility. 

* Vide note, page 116. 

f This fact is related by the biographer of Commendoni, 
vide Vie de Commendoni par Crraiiani, French translation, 
page 177. Gratiani, who visited Poland some time afler the 
death of Sigismund the First, gives a very incorrect descrip- 
tion of the character of that monarchy as wdl as of the 



daughter to Stephen Zapolia, Way wode of Tran- 
sylvania, Bona Sforza, princess of Milan.* He 
was at that time (1519) fifty-three years old, and 
he soon fell under the entire domination of his 
young queen, who was remarkable for her beauty 
and accomplishments. These advantages which 
Bona possessed were, however, more than coun- 
terbalanced by her bad qualities, for she was a 
princess of a most perverse character ; dissolute 
in her manners, ambitious of power, and greedy 
of money. The many abuses caused by the 
influence of that unprincipled queen, who en- 
tirely ruled the country during the latter part 
of her uxorious husband's reign, rendered Si- 
gismund odious to the nation, although, pre- 
viously to his second marriage, he had been 
universally beloved; and it was only after his 
death that his subjects, forgetting the frailties 
of their monarch, and remembering only his 
virtues, sincerely lamented the loss of the once 
popular sovereign. The conduct of Bona towards 
the Protestants was very unequal, being regu- 
lated by motives of expediency, as well as by 
the freaks of a corrupted woman's passion ; for 

religious affairs during his reign. It is evident that Gratiani 
derived all his information from some bigotted Catholics. 

* Bona was the daughter of John Galeazzo Sforza^ duke of 
Milan^ and of Isabella of Arragon^ daughter of Alphonse the 
Second^ king of Naples. 


it is almost impossible to admit that religious 

feeling could have any hold whatever on the influence of 

• 1 - 1 • /. 1 1 queen Bona on 

mind of one who manifested such an utter the aflfeire of 

,. 1 /. . • 1 n Protestantism. 

disregard of every principle, as queen Bona 
did during all her life-time. Being under the 
constant influence of the Spanish court, with 
which she was nearly related, Bona's inclina- 
tions were naturally against every innovation 
in religious matters ; but it frequently happened 
that those who favoured the new doctrines 
were necessary to the attainment of her ends, 
and she did not scruple to abet heresy^ in 
order to convert heretics into useful tools for 
the promotion of her own designs. Her own 
confessor, Lismanini, was one of the chief pro- 
moters of the reformed doctrines at Cracow, 
and it was the queen herself who afforded him 
facilities of getting from abroad books contain- 
ing the above-mentioned doctrines. Besides 
those reasons which guided the conduct of the 
queen, there were motives no less powerful 
which acted on the heart of the woman : a 
guilty passion attached Bona to John Firley, 
one of the most conspicuous amongst the Polish 
grandees, for his accomplishments and personal 
appearance. Firley, who was invested with the 
important dignities of the palatine of Lublin 
and marshal of the court, openly professed the 
reformed doctrines, and became under the en- 
suing reign the leader of the Protestant nobility. 




Ail those circumstances concurred in rendering 
the influence of Bona harmless to the progress 
of the reformation in Poland ; an influence which 
would have not failed to do them the greatest 
injury, if that wily queen had made them an 
object of her hostility. 

Such was the state of Poland when the doctrines 
of the Reformation began to penetrate into that 
country. It was in the province of great Poland, 
bordering on Germany, and where the doctrines 
of Huss had made a strong impression, that 
Protestantism was publicly manifested for the 
first time by the opening of a Lutheran church, 
(1530-40,) under the patronage of the influential 
family of Gorka, who had embraced the doc- 
trines of the Saxon reformer. But the most 
important circumstance which gave a strong 
impulse to the develofHuent of religious opinions 
in Poland, took place at Cracow, where a so- 
ciety formed itself in order to propagate the 
Secret society doctriues of the Gospel. This society was 
theoiog?cfd composed of the most eminent scholars of that 

jects establish- . • ^x j -i. xi_ i "l xi. j.' /• 

ed at Cracow, time, united amongst themselves by the ties of 

personal friendship. It was in appearance strictly 
Roman Catholic, and sought only to effect such 
reforms as would not in the least affect its ortho- 
doxy. The Italian^ Francis Lismanini, proviur 
cial of the Franciscan order, chaplain and 
confessor to queen Bona, was the leader of that 
assembly, which numbered amongst its members 


John Trzecieski, or Tricesius, the first gramma^ 
rian of his country ; his son Andreas Trzecieski, 
also an eminent scholar and great linguist, and 
Bernard Wojewodka, a learned bookseller and 
alderman of Cracow, both pupils of Erasmus; 
Andreas Frycz Modrzewski, or Modrevius, pupil 
of Melancthon, of whom we shall have an 
ample opportunity to speak hereafter; James 
Przyluski, an eminent lawyer; Adam Drzewie- 
cki, canon of the cathedral of Cracow ; Andreas 
Zebrzydowski, afterwards bishop of Cracow, and 
favourite pupil of Erasmus; John Uchanski, 
referendary of the crown, and afterwards arch- 
l)ishop of Gnezno ; and many other persons 
distinguished by their talents, learning, and rank 
in society. 

Lismanini possessed a large library of anti-ro^ 
manist books, and he constantly received every new 
publication of that kind. At the meetings of the 
society, he expounded to its members dilSerent 
points of divinity. The Roman Catholic tenets 
which have no scriptural foundation were boldly 
attacked in the learned discussions of that so- 
ciety; but, unfortunately, some of its members 
carried much too far their theological specn^ 
lations, and began openly to broach anti-trint- 
tarian doctrines. It was at a meeting held in 
the library of John Trzecieski that a certain 
priest, called Pastoris, a native of Belgium, at- 
tacked the mystery of the trinity, as being incon^ 


fiistent with the unity of the Supreme Being. This 
doctrine, new at that time in Poland, although 
broached already in the works of Servetus, startled 
in such a manner the members present, that they 
became mute with astonishment, perceiving with 
terror that such a proposition would lead to the 
ij subversion of revealed religion. This doctrine, 
Jwv adopted by several members of the above-men- 
^Y - tioned society, laid in Poland the foundation of 
^ I that sect whose opinions became afterwards 
^ known under the name of Socinianism, although 
neither Lelio nor Faustus Socinus may be con- 
isidered as its true founders. The same daring 
propositions had undoubtedly the effect of fright- 
ening many timorous minds, and of deterring 
them from any further attempt against the abuses 
and errors of Romanism, so that they preferred 
to remain in the pale of the established church, 
in spite of its acknowledged aberrations, rather 
than to venture on a dangerous course which 
might lead them to a pure deism, and reduce the 
gospel to a simple code of morality. There were 
many however who, firm of mind and inspired 
with true piety, resolved to search the truth, not 
by the sole guidance of human reason, but by the 
test of the Holy Scriptures.* 

* It has been described by several authors ; but the best 
account of it is given by Wengierski, in his History of the 
Hefonned Church of Cracow. 


The real tendency of the society which we 
have described was, notwithstanding its apparent 
compliance with the established church, soon 
discovered by the bishop of Cracow, Samuel 
Maciejowski. Having received positive infor- 
mation about the heretical opinions of Lismanini, 
he ordered his library to be searched ; but Lisma- 
nini, being informed of the impending danger, 
removed in time all the suspicious works, so that 
when the investigation of his library took place, 
nothing was found that might cast a suspicion 
on the orthodoxy of its owner. The bishop re- 
mained, however, persuaded ofLismanini's heresy; 
and when he was commissioned to go to Rome 
in order to congratulate Julius the Third on his 
accession to the pontifical throne, Maciejowski 
represented him as a dangerous heretic, capable 
of overthrowing the Roman Catholic church in 
Poland. Lismanini, however, being apprized by 
his friends of the danger which threatened him 
from that quarter, succeeded by his adroitness in 
neutralizing the effects of the bishop^s accusations, 
and returned safely to Poland from his mission 
to Rome. The spirit of religious investigation 
which animated the members of the society we 
have described , began to manifest itself by overt 
attacks on the Roman Catholic church. John 
Karminski, a rich landowner andparticular friend 
of Lismanini, received in his estate called Alex- 


androTitze, not far from Cracow, several persons 
who openly abandoned the communion of Rome. 
A clergyman who bad been a preacher of the 
cathedral church at Cracow, publicly inveighed 
at Alexandrovitze against Romish idolatry, and 
recommended the reading of the gospels. This 
clergyman, however, being imprisoned by the 
ecclesiastical authorities, recanted his doctrines ; 
but having recovered his liberty and gained the 
protection of some powerful lord, he resumed his 
opinions.^ Franciscus Stancari, an Italian, who 
was the first professor of Hebrew at Cracow, 
began about that time to attack the worship of 
the saints in expounding the psalms to the pupils 
of the university; he was imprisoned in the castle 
of Lipovietz ; but some nobles favourable to his 
opinions carried him away from the fortress, and 
he found a safe refuge in the estates of Stadnicki, 
a powerful grandee converted to the Protestant 
doctrines, who founded a school in his town of 
Dubiecko, and gave the superintendence of it to 
Stankari.-t* Martinus Krowicki, a clergyman, 
preached against the worship of saints and images, 

* Lubieniecki and Wengierski^ who describe that trans- 
action^ give neither the name of the clergyman, nor that of 
the bishop by whom he had been imprisoned. The date of the 
event is not clearly defined^ but it happened about 1548. 

f Dubiecko is situated in the present Galicia^ or Austrian 


as being abuses unknown to the primitive church, 
and began to say mass in the vernacular tongue. 
Another clergyman called Jacobus Sylvius, rector 
of Krzemien, was the first who entirely left out 
the mass, in 1547. Felix Crucigerof Szczebrzeszyn, 
rector of INiedzwiedz, in the vicinity of Cracow, 
began in 1 546 to expound from the pulpit the pure 
words of the gospel. Many influential persons 
occupying important offices of the state openly 
embraced the doctrines of the reformers. The 
most prominent of them were, Bonar, castellan 
of Biecz ; Justus Decius, private secretary to the 
king ; Nicolas Olesnicki, lord of Pinczow, a place 
which became afterwards celebrated in the annals 
of the Polish reformation ; Martinus Zborowski, 
castellan of Kalish ; Stanislaw Cikowski, a mili- 
tary officer, who distinguished himself afterwards 
in many wars; Nicolaus Rey, the first Polish 
poet; the powerful families of Szafiraniec, Sta- 
dnicki, &c. &c. 

The conversion to the Protestant doctrines of 
several individuals and families occupying high 
stations in life, secured the reformers from the 
persecution of the Roman Catholic clergy, and 
afibrded them great facilities for propagating 
their doctrines. It seems however that, previously 
to the year 1548, their opinions, excepting some 
few cases, had not assumed any definite form of 
creed. They only saw the abuses and errors 


of Romanism without having arrived at a clear 
perception of evangelical truths, or to any definite 
conclusions deduced from scriptural grounds. 
They knew what was to be abolished, but not 
yet what was to be established. It was only in the 
i^ensuing reign of Sigismund Augustus that Pro- 
V testantism assumed any definite form of creed. The 

doctrines of Zuinglius and Calvin gained ground 
/ amongst the nobles in preference to Lutheranism, 
which spread in towns principally inhabited by 
German settlers, who, through their constant in- 
tercourse with Germany, were much inclined 
towards the doctrines of* the reformer of that 
country. The daring speculations of the anti-tri- 
nitarians, which we have already mentioned as 
broached by some members of the society of 
Cracow, and which afterwards gave rise to a nu- 
j merous sect known under the name of Polish 
Brethren, or Socinians, spread chiefly amongst 
the nobles. 

We have had ample opportunity of describing 
the influence which the reformation of Huss had 
exercised in Poland ; and we must not omit an 
important circumstance which greatly contributed 
to the establishment of the doctrines professed 
by the Bohemian Brethren in our country. We 
mean the emigration of that community from 
Bohemia into Prussia and Poland at the end of 
the period which we have now described. 


The reformation of Huss had already mani- Account of the 

. '' Bohemian 

fested, at its very beginning, some strongly marked Brethren. 
differences amongst its followers, which in the 
course of time divided them into two parties, 
distinguished under the names of Callixtines and V 
Taborites. The first of these, who received their i/^ 
name from their insisting on the communion of 

two kinds, were much more moderate in tlieiii^ 


demands of church reformation than the Tabo- 
rites, who gave a complete development to the 
doctrines of Wicliff, rejecting every thing which, 
could not be supported by scriptural authority^ 
After the death of Ziska, who was the chief of the 
Taborites, appeared a third party, called the On-i^ A 

phans, who kept the middle between the two 
other, being bolder than the Callixtines, and more 
moderate than the Taborites : but it seems after- 
wards to have merged into the two above-men- 
tioned parties. 

The separation was completed through the 
Compactata of 1433, by which the Council of 
Basil admitted the Bohemians into the pale of 
the church.* 

The Callixtines were ready to acknowledge the 
supremacy of the Pope, provided he would con- 
firm the above-mentioned concessions of the 
Council of Basil; but the Taborites rejected those 
conditions, considering them, with great reason, as 

* Vide note, page 87. 
VOL. I. L 




fraught with danger to the reformed religion, and 
being fully aware that such an approximation to 
the Roman Catholic church would speedily lead 
to its complete restoration. The Callixtine party 
prevailed, and the Taborites dwindled into a 
minority, which, although it lost its political 
strength, firmly persevered in adhering to the 
pure evangelical doctrines. They changed their 
^name into that of Bohemian Brethren, about 
1440-14&0, and in 1456 they began to form a 
religious community, separated by definite forms 
from the rest of the followers of Huss. In 1458 
they experienced a severe persecution in Moravia, 
from the Roman Catholics, as well as from the 
Callixtines. The persecution was renewed with 
increased severity in 1469 ; but it did not subdue 
the religious zeal and courage of the brethren, 
whose devotion to their cause grew with the 
persecution they suffered for its sake. They 
assembled a synod at Lhota,^ and established 
their church by electing the elders according to 
the custom of the primitive Christians. 

Stephen, bishop of the Austrian Waldensians,t 
ordained the first priests of the new church. 

♦ Lhota is a village near the town of Richow. 

f There were many Waldensians at that time in Austria. The 
Bohemian Brethren also frequently sent their priests to be ,or- 
(Jained by the Waldensians of Italy. — Vide Friese's Beytrage 
zu der Reformations geschichte in Polen, vol. i. p. 186-7. 


which continued to suffer the most unrelenting 
persecution, and was obliged to hold its synods 
and to perform divine worship in forests, caverns, 
and other hidden places, whilst its persecuted 
members were stigmatised with the names of 
Adamites, Picardians, brigands, robbers, and 
every kind of contumelious appellation. 

Their sufferings were suspended in 1471, by the 
accession of the Polish prince Vladislav Jaguel- 
lon, to the throne of Bohemia, who immediately 
granted to the Bohemian Brethren a full en- 
joyment of religious liberty. Mathias Corvinus, 
king of Hungary, abolished also about that time 
the laws which were enacted against them in 
Moravia. The brethren began to resume hopes 
of a more prosperous time to their church, 
which in 1500 reckoned two hundred places of 
w^orship. In 1503, the brethren were excluded 
from public offices; but the apology of their 
creed which they presented to king Vladislav 
Jaguellon, persuaded the monarch of their in- 
nocence, and suspended a persecution which had 
already made some victims. The Roman Ca- 
tholic clergy succeeded again in 1506 in exciting 
a severe persecution against the brethren, under 
the pretence that the queen, who was about to 
be confined, might obtain by that act of piety 
a happy deliverance. 

The brethren neglected no means in order to 
justify themselves from the unmerited odium 

L 2 


which their detractors continually sought to 
throw on them. In 1511 they sent an exposition 
of their religion to Erasmus, who did not find 
therein any errors. " If your community/' wrote 
that celebrated scholar, " elects its priests, it 
does not offend by it the customs of the pri- 
mitive Christians; nor is it to be blamed for 
V choosing persons without learning, because purity 
of life compensates the deficiency of learning."* 
In 1522 Luther did not yet comprehend the 
tenets of the Bohemian Brethren ; his mind seems 
to have not yet been at that time entirely eman^ 
. cipated from the influence of Romanism, and he 
\ violently abused, in his convivial conversations, 
the Bohemian Brethren, whose tenets and system 
of hierarchy he regarded with a kind of horror • 
But in 1533 Luther was entirely reconciled to the 
^Bohemians, and wrote himself, in 1535, a preface 
to their confession. In 1542 a deputation of the 
brethren, amongst whom was the celebrated 
George Israel,! visited Luther, who received 
them with great distinction, established a spiritual 

* \^ide Stranski^ et Lasitius^ edit, by Comenius. 

t George Israel was born at Hunnobrod in Moravia in 1500^ 
and became pastor of the Bohemian Brethren at Tarnow in Bo* 
hernia. He distinguished himself by his great learning and 
piety. Being expelled from Bohemia in 1548, he arrived in 
Poland^ where in the space of a few years he established a great 
number of churches of the Bohemian Brethren, and became the 
first superintendent of their community. He took an active 




communion with them, and expressed a wish that 
they might become the means of converting the 
Slavonian nations.* At the accession of the 
house of Austria to the throne of Bohemia a severe 
persecution was raised against the brethren. The 
Diet of Prague enacted severe laws against them ; 
and ting Ferdinand resolved, in 1544, to extirpate 
them entirely. Their places of worship were shut 
up, and their ministers imprisoned. In 1547 
the same king proclaimed an edict, enjoining the 
brethren under the most severe penalties to leave 
the country in the short space of forty-two days. 
It was published on the 4th May 1548, and im- 
mediately put into execution. The brethren 
resolved on removing to Prussia, whose so- 

part in all the principal Protestant synods of Poland, and greatly 
contributed to the Consensus Sendomiriensis, by which a union 
between the Bohemian Brethren, Reformed and Lutherans, of 
Poland was established in 1570. In 1580 he resigned his pastoral 
functions on accoimt of his great age, and retired to Lipnica, in 
Moravia, where he died in 1588. He left a history of the 
establishment and progress of the Bohemian churches in Po- 
land, written in Polish and Latin, as well as several other works 
connected with his contemporary ecclesiastic history, besides 
many speeches made in Polish at different synods. He enter- 
tained an extensive correspondence with many eminent refor- 
mers and scholars of Europe, and enjoyed, during his life-time, 
a great influence with the most eminent personages of Poland. 
Vide Lukaszewicz's Account of the Protestant Church in Posen, 

* Vide. Clement, Bibliothdque Curieuse ; Walch*s, Biblio- 
theca Theologica ; Michelet*s Memoires of Luther. 


vereign the duke Albert, offered them an asy- 
lum in his states. On the 15th June 1548 the 
Their arrival in commuuities of Lutomysl, Tumow, Brandeis, 

Chlum, Bieczow, and some other places, com- 
prehending a thousand souls, divided into three 
parties, proceeded on their way to Prussia through 
Silesia and Poland. The last of these parties,' con- 
sisting of about four hundred individuals, entered 
Posnania on the 25th June, being conducted by 
their priests, Mathias Aquila, Urbanus Herman, 
and Mathias Faliczki. But all the pilgrims were 
imder the guidance of Mathias Sionius, the elder 
or chief of their whole community ; or, to use 
the words of a celebrated Polish Protestant 
writer (Wengierski), the leader of the people of 

Andreas Gorka, castellan of Posnania, and 
general or first magistrate of the province of 
Grand Poland, a grandee possessed of enor- 
mous wealth, and who had already embraced the 
reformed doctrines, received the pious wanderers 
with the greatest kindness, and located them in 
his domains of Kurnik, Kozmin, and Szamotuly. 
The brethren performed publicly divine service, 
and their hymns chaunted and their sermons 
preached in the Bohemian language, intelligible to 
the inhabitants of the country, gained for them at 
oncej^the sympathies of the population. The Sla- 
vonian origin and language of the Bohemian 
1^ Brethren gave them many advantages in Poland 


which Lutheranism, being of German growth, did ^ 
not possess, and they begun to entertain reasonable 
hopes of converting all the provinces of Grand Po- 
land. But the bishop of Posnania, Izbicki, who saw 
the danger with which his diocese was menaced by 
the presence of the Bohemian Brethren, obtained, 
by the influence of the spiritual lords and some 
other zealous Roman Catholic senators, a royal 
order, issued on the 4th August 1548, to remove 
the brethren from the country. This order, which 
was wrested from the inexperienced Sigismund 
Augustus, who had been only a few months on 
the throne, was also motived on political grounds, 
as there was at that time a treaty between 
Bohemia and Poland, by which they were ^ 
mutually bound not to receive subjects of one 
country emigrating to the other. The brethren 
left Poland and passed into Prussia; but they 
had already sown abundant seed in the province 
where they had dwelt for some time, and many a 
flourishing community was afterwards established 
by them in that part of Poland ; but as this belongs 
not to the period we are now describing, we shall 
relate it in another part of our narrative. 

Such was the state of Poland at the death of 
Sigismund the First, in 1548. It was overrun 
by the opinions of reformers of various shades, 
but they had not yet taken any consistency, or 
assumed any defined form, by establishing con- 
gregations following the rule of faith and mode of 



worship of the reformed churches, established in 
various parts of western Europe. 

This took place only under tBfe subsequent 
reign of Sigismund Augustus (1348-1672), when 
the Protestant churches were established in 
Poland, not as tolerated, but as legally acknow- 
ledged communities. 


Progress of the Reformation during the first 
years of the Reign of Sigismund Augustus. 

Agitated state The acccssiou of Sigismuud Augustus, in the 
af tJea^SSii ^onth of May 1548, was not attended with the 
AimSus""*^ most auspicious circumstances. There was no 
caused by his disputc about his riffht to the sovereiffnty, as this 

maiTiage with *^ ® . . 

Barbara Radzi- important matter had been wisely settled by his 

election and coronation while he was still a boy.* 
But although Sigismund's rights as a monarch 

* Sigismund Augustus, who was born in 1519, was elected 
king 1529, and crowned the ensuing year^ with the express con- 
dition that he should not take any part in the government during 
his father's life ; this measure was very well advised^ as it pre- 
vented an interregnum, and the troubles attending the election 
of a new sov^eign* 


were formally established, he was attacked on a 
subject which was more precious to him than the 
crown of his atrcestors. After the demise of his 
first consort, Elizabeth of Austria, Sigismund Au 
gustus married secretly at Vilna, Barbara Radzi- 
will, a lady of great beauty and accomplishments.* 
This alliance, which was concealed before the 
death of his father, was made public immediately 
after his accession. A violent opposition to the 
king's marriage was raised throughout all Poland. 
It was opposed by the jealousy of the nobles 
against the already powerful family of the Ra- 
dziwill, whose influence was increased by that 
alliance, although the law prohibiting the mar- 
riage of a sovereign without consent of the Diet, 
was enacted many years afterwards. It was also 
thought by many a fit opportunity for circumscrib- 
ing the royal authority by new limitations. 

The opposition against the royal marriage at the 
Diet of Piotrkow was so violent, that the primate 
Dzierzgowski, aprelate distinguished by his hatred 
to the Protestants, and who was the leader of 
that opposition, declared that he was ready to 
absolve the monarch from the oath which bound 
him to his queen, and to distribute the sin of per- 
jury amongst all the subjects of the realm. The 
king remained, however, firm in his attachment 

* She was a widow, haying been married before to Gastold, 
palatine of Troki. 




, to his wedded wife, and succeeded by his firmness, 
and the assistance of some faithful friends, in 
overcoming the opposition, so that Barbara was 
acknowledged queen, and crowned by her violent 
opponent the primate Dzierzgowski himself. The 
Unwise line of Protcstants foUowed, on that occasion, a most 

policy followed 

on that occiu uuwise line of policy. They ought to have sup- 

sionbythePro- f J JO ^ r- 

testant nobles, ported the mouarch against the opposition, in 

order to gain him over to their interests ; they 
had besides an additional motive for doing it, as 
the relatives of Barbara openly professed the re- 
formed doctrines;* and the hostility of Dzierz- 
gowski, the head of the Roman Catholic church 
of Poland, to the young queen, seemed naturally 
to place the Protestants amongst her defenders. 
Such however was not the case, and the Protes- 
tant nobles, instead of supporting the monarch, 
joined the Roman Catholics in their senseless 
outcry against his marriage, the imaginary in- 
terests of their order rendering them forgetful 
of the real ones of their religion : for we cannot 
see any true motives of patriotism in that sensitive 
jealousy with which the nobles sought on that 
occasion jto defend their privileges from the 
dangers which might threaten them from the 

* Nicholaus Radziwill^ palatine of Vilna^ grand-general and 
chancellor of Lithuania, who had much contributed to the 
spread of the Reformation in his country^ was the brother of 


overgrown influence of the Radziwills, Without 
regard to those sacred rights which the monarch 
possessed as a husband in common with the rest 
of mankind. 

The beginning of the reign of Sigismund 

. ^ 111 ^ 1 • 1 Riot of the stu- 

Augustus was marked by an event, which, dents of the 
although insignificant in itself, was important cracow,Ud 
by its consequences, and has much accelerated o™a^eat'num. 
the progress of the Protestant doctrines in Po- foreign wade-*' 
land. In 1549 Regina Strzemotska, a common ™*®** 
prostitute, being publicly insulted by some stu* 
dents of the university, who stood before the 
door of All-Hallows College, called to her assi- 
stance the servants of Czarnkowski, prebendary 
of Cracow, and principal of the above-men" 
tioned college. The servants took part against 
the students, and a scuffle ensued, in which the 
servante having made use of fire-arms, killed 
some students. This occurrence produced a 
universal commotion amongst all the students 
of the university, who entered into a mutual 
obligation to obtain a signal satisfaction for the 
murder of their comrades. The whole body of 
the students went to the royal castle, to sup- 
plicate for justice against the perpetrators of 
the murder; but particularly against Czarnkow- 
ski himself, whom they accused as being the 
chief promoter of that crime. Samuel Macie- 
jowski, bishop of Cracow, dissuaded them from 
marching in such a crowd to the castle, repre- 

156 SKETCH OP Tim 

senting it as an insult to royalty, and promised 
to obtain for them full redress. They retired 
from the castle and perambulated the streets, 
carrying on their shoulders the dead bodies of 
their comrades, and making violent speeches. 

Having confirmed their mutual obligation to 
prosecute the guilty, they chose one of their 
number to lead that prosecution. They declared 
also that if they should not obtain justice they 
would leave the university, and even the country. 
The king granted an audience to a deputation 
of the students, who preferred an accusation, 
the violence of which shows the hatred which 
animated them against the ecclesiastical autho- 
rity, and which waited only for an opportunity 
to manifest itself. They accused Czarnkowski 
that, being the principal of the college, he had 
ordered his servants to use violence ; but he 
proved that he had not even been in the house 
when the tumult arose, and the murder was 
committed. The king blamed the riotous 
conduct of the students, and ordered the affair 
to be investigated by Samuel Maciejowski, bishop 
of Cracow, as chancellor of the university, a 
prelate distinguished by the mildness of his 
character and urbanity of his manner. The 
students did not appear before the judge, con- 
sidering him as a partial one, and refused to 
prosecute their accusation. Czarnkowski was 
declared innocent, but the servants were im- 


prisoned. However, as no accuser appeared, 
there was no trial. The students resolved on 
leaving the university. It was impossible to 
use any coercion against such a resolution, and 
the authorities tried by conciliatory means to 
prevent its execution. 

The students were invited to the church of 
Saint Franciscus, where they found assembled 
all the university, the bishop of Cracow, and 
John Tarnowski, the most respected grandee 
of his time. They were addressed by Tarnow- 
ski, who promised them the punishment of the 
guilty, and who was listened to with great at- 
tention ; but when the bishop wished to speak 
he was interrupted, and could not obtain a 
hearing. The students left the church with 
great tumult, and resolved on leaving the town 
the following day. Cracow exhibited a mourn- 
ful scene ; nothing was heard but groans, 
lamentations, and parting farewells. The town 
lost the most animated and brilliant part of its 
population. According to the words of a cotem- 
porary author,* " the schools became silent ; the 
halls of the university were deserted; the 
churches were mute, and the oldest inhabitant 
of Cracow had never witnessed a greater ca- 
lamity and a more general lamentation. " The 
wanderers assembled together, heard mass in a 

* Zalaszowski^ in his Jus Publicum Regni PoUmue, 


church of the suburb Kleparz, and began their 
pilgrimage singing a sacred hymn. Some of 
them were persuaded to return ; but the greatest 
part left the country, and repaired to foreign 
universities. The greater part of the emigrants 
went to Silesia, which was in some respects only 
a continuation of Poland, and where the cele- 
brated school of Goldberg was at that time in a 
very flourishing condition, under the direction of 
Frankendorf, the most eminent of Melancthon's 
pupils. This school was already the favourite 
resort of many Polish students, and we may 
mention the noble family of Leszczynski as one 
of those who generally educated their children 
in that establishment. Many students went 
also to the newly erected university of Konigs- 
berg in Prussia.* They returned home almost 

* The university of Konigsberg contributed much to the 
spread of scriptural knowledge in Poland. The first Polish 
Gospel^ and the first anti-romanist works published in that 
language, appeared under the direction of that learned institu- 
tion. It was established in 1544, by Albert duke of Prussia, first 
cousin to Sigismund Augustus, with the object of promoting 
religious, literary, and scientific information amongst the 
German, Polish, and Lithuanian populations which inhabited 
the dominions of Prussia. Duke Albert entertained the 
project of mounting the throne of Poland after the 
death of king Sigismund Augustus^ and he tried by 
every means to make himself popular in that country. He 
accepted the dignity of a Polish senator, and would have 
probably succeeded^ through the support of the Protestant 



all imbued with Protestant opinions, and power- 
fully contributed to the spread of that doctrine 
by communicating them to their families. 

party, in his plans, had they not been destroyed by his death 
in 1568. His only son was a very weak prince, and unable to 
follow up the schemes of his father. In those times the 
privilege of the Pope or the [emperor seems to have been 
supposed by many as indispensable to the foundation of a 
university, and Sabinus, the first rector of that of Konigsberg, 
was so strongly impressed by that idea, that he applied to 
Cardinal Bembo, in order by his instrumentality to obtain from 
the Pope a charter for a university established with the avowed 
purpose of opposing his authority. Bembo politely declined 
that ridiculous request. The emperor likewise refused to grant 
the demanded charter; but Sigismund Augustus was more 
liberal, and granted to the Protestant university of Konigsberg 
a charter, proprto motu dat. Vilno, 28th March 1561. He had 
certainly the best right of doing that act, being the liege lord of 
the duke of Prussia; and he expresses by the above-mentioned 
charter that he was founding by it the said university (univer- 
sitatem condidimus et ereximus,) to which he gave equal rights 
with that of Cracow. We must not omit a rather odd circum- 
stance, that the above-mentioned charter for the erection of a 
Protestant university was countersigned by Padniewski, vice- 
chancellor of Poland^ and Roman Catholic bishop of Przemysl. 
When the privileges of that university were confirmed by Vla- 
dislav the Fourth^ king of Poland^ the act of confirmation was 
likewise countersigned by the vice-chancellor Gembicki, also a 
Roman Catholic prelate. The Polish monarch had an opportunity 
of exercising his supremacy, as liege lord of Prussia, in a benefi- 
cial manner to the privileges of the university of Konigsberg, 
in 1617. The duke of Prussia having appropriated to himself the 
right of nominating professors^ which was vested in the univer. 



Vaienty, parish Another event which happened the same year 
Kreczonow, (1549,) proved the strength which the Protestant 
instance of ma- opinioHs had already acquired in Poland. Va- 
and of opeiiy lenty, rcctor of Krzczonow (a parish in the dio- 
Protestant opi- ccsc of Cracow), publicly married a wife. Samuel 

Maciejowski, bishop of Cracow, summoned him 
for that offence to appear before an ecclesiastical 
court. The accused priest boldly presented 
himself to the bishop, being accompanied by 
some individuals distinguished by their rank or 
learning, such as Nicholaus Olesnicki, lord of 

sity by its charter, the affair was referred to the king of Poland, 
whose commissaries, Adam Kossobudzki, castellan of Wyszo- 
grod, and Sadowski, a royal secretary, decided it in favour of 
the university. The primitive object of the theological faculty of 
the university of Konigsberg was to form ministers fit to 
expound the word of God to the Polish and Lithuanian popu- 
lations of Prussia in their national languages, and to supersede 
the rather extraordinary custom which had heretofore prevailed 
in that country. As the above-mentioned Poles and Lithua- 
nians did not understand the German language, there was 
always a translator standing near the pulpit^ who translated to 
the congregation the sermon, which was preached in German, 
unintelligible to the most of them. A theological seminary 
was established at the university, containing twenty -four pupils, 
fourteen of whom were for the Polish and Lithuanian lan- 
guages. In 1728, a separate seminary was established for the 
Poles and Lithuanians of Prussia^ besides a foundation made 
by the princes Radziwill for Protestant scholars from Poland 
and Lithuania. Vide Arnold's History of the University of 
Konigsberg, 1745, in German. 


Pinczow; NicholausRey of Naglowice, celebrated 
as the first poet in Poland, and a zealous re- 
former ;* Remigius Chelmicki, and some others. 
Orzechowski, who was soon to acquire a great 
celebrity, supported that cause by his morda- 

* Nicholaus Rey, surnamed of Naglowice from an estate 
of that name which belonged to him^ is the first who has 
written Polish poetry in the sixteenth century. He translated 
the Psalms^ the ^pocalypse^ and its explanation by BuUinger. 
But the work which gained the greatest popularity is his 
Postilla, which he published in 1556, and which contributed 
much to the spread of the reformed doctrines. It is written 
with all the scurrility by which the polemical works of that 
time were disgraced, and is ornamented with wood-cuts^ 
representing caricatures of the Pope and Cardinals^ similar to 
those which at that period were frequently published in diffe- 
rent parts of Europe. 

Besides the above-mentioned works, he published Sacred 
Hymns; A Catechism Jar Young People; and ^^ The Image of an 
Honest Man,** This last is a moral essay on different subjects, 
and contains a curious picture of the manners and customs of 
Poland during the sixteenth century. Rey was an eminently 
national character, and this has much contributed to the great 
popularity his works enjoyed in his country. His education was 
rather neglected : but he repaired that deficiency by his natural 
talents, and by his strenuous exertions to acquire knowledge. 
He was renowned for the great joviality of his character, and 
was considered one of the most agreeable companions of 
his time ; for which reason, notwithstanding the violence of his 
Protestant opinions, he was a welcome guest, and even intimate 
friend of many Roman Catholic bishops. He died in 1569. Rey 
was held in great veneration by the Protestant writers of his 
VOL. I. M country. 


cious pen. Assisted by such auxiliaries, the 
rector of Krzczonow, instead of avoiding judg- 
ment, sought it as a fit opportunity for 
promulgating his opinions against the Roman 
Catholic church ; but the bishop Maciejowski, 
who foresaw what would be the consequences 
of a trial where it was impossible to enforce 
the sentence against heresy, and which would 
only increase its force by showing the weak- 
ness of the clergy, prudently abandoned the 
prosecution. Maciejowski's successor to the 
episcopal see of Cracow, Zebrzydowski, was of 
a different temper from that of his predecessor, 
who was of a very mild and conciliatory dis- 
position. Zebrzydowski was a man of remarka- 
ble talents and learning, which he particularly 
acquired under the tuition of Erasmus, whose 

country, and one of them (Miaskowskijsays: — ^'NicholausRey, 
whom our nation places as high as the Greeks did Hesiod 
and the Romans Ennius, because all three have shown their 
respective nations the road to science." Andreas Trzecieski 
says, " Rejus quern magnum scire, vocare potest,** The Catholics, 
on the contrary, abused him most violently, calling him, Satan 
unbound ; the dragon of Oksza (an estate belonging to him) ; 
the Sardanapalus of Naglowice. His life was written by 
Andreas Trzecieski, or Tricesius. There is an excellent article 
on him in the Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Poets by the 
Reverend Juszynski, who, although a Roman Catholic clergy- 
man, is a very impartial critic. 


favourite pupil he seems to have been.* We zebrzydowski, 
have already mentioned that he took part in cracowravio- 
the meetings of the society which discussed ©Tuie Refer"' 
religious subjects at Cracow ; but although he ractCToahat 
had at one time evinced a considerable leaning p"*^**®- 
towards the Protestant doctrines, he became 
afterwards a most zealous and violent defender 
of the Roman Catholic church. Zebrzydowski 
is accused of having been a complete unbeliever, 
and of having publicly treated the most im- 
portant dogmas of revealed religion as mere 
fables;! ^^^ we must be very cautious in ad- 
mitting such a heavy charge, particularly as it 
is proffered by his adversaries. 

Zebrzydowski resolved on acting against the 
growing heresy, and summoned to his tribunal 

^ Erasmus calls him^ in his letters^ '* mens Zehrzydooius" 
Vide his letter. 

f Zebrzydowski is accused by Lubieniecki, a Socinian 
writer^ of having publicly said : ^^ Gramen quod folce resectum 
jaceat'Tedibitf ego autem falce mortis demessus turn amplius 
resurgam, crede et in hircum si velis, dummodo mihi decimas 
pendas," This accusation resembles much that which has 
been broached against Pope Leo the Tenth, but which was 
refuted by Roscoe^ in his admirable life of that pontiff; and 
it may be that the charge against Zebrzydowski has no 
more foundation than that against the accomplished Leo. 
Zebrzydowski has been also accused of profligate manners : 
but as we have no other proofs against his personal cha- 
racter than the evidence of his opponents^ we shall only 
describe his public actions. 

M 2 


His vain at- a landowncF called Conrad Krupka Przeclawski, 
seSite^Prae-' to appear on a charge of favouring Lutheranism, 
whrhadV«b-* and refusing the payment of tithes. Przeclawski 
'^otertil^sm. obeyed the summons, and appeared before the 

bishop in company with some influential nobles 
partaking his religious persuasions. When in- 
terrogated concerning his religions opinions, he 
answered that he believed in the Gospels, which 
were the true word of God, and in Christ the 
head of the church. Being demanded to give 
an explanation of the real meaning of his words, 
he boldly stated them in the anti-Romanist sense, 
without any attempt at concealing his Protestant 

The bishop offered a pardon if Przeclawski 
would recant his opinions; but his proposition 
was rejected. He therefore declared him a 
heretic, condemned him to death and confis- 
cation of property, and recommended the tem- 
poral tribunals to carry his sentence into exe- 

* Zebrzydowski*s proceedings deserved great praise from 
Rome, and Pope Julius the Third expressed his satisfaction 
in the following manner : " Qua super intelleximus, a venera- 
hilihus fratrihus, Cracoviensi et Premislensi Episcopis contra 
Conradum Crupek, pie et constanter acta Juisse ea nobis grata 
acciderunt, Explicuit Jtagrantissimum tuendcB incorruptcB or- 
thodoxcB religionis studium Andreas episcopus Cracoviensis 
atque Conradum Crupek novatorum signiferum justa severitate 
coercuit*' — Vide Raynaldus, ad annum 1552. 


It was, however, more easy to pronounce than • 
to put into execution such a sentence as that 
which was given by Zebrzydowski. The idea of 
a bishop assuming the power of condemning a 
noble to a capital punishment for his opinions, a 
thing which even a monarch had no right arbi- 
trarily to do in Poland, roused a general indigna- 
tion, even among the Roman Catholic nobles. 
The chancellor of the crown dared not grant the 
exequatur to the episcopal decree, being well 
aware of the dangerous consequences it would 
have produced to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. 
Sigismund Augustus was by no means inclined 
to promote the interests of Romanism by allowing 
such a violent act against the liberty of his sub- 
jests, and which would not have been without 
danger even to his own authority. Nothing re- •, 
mained, therefore, to the clergy than to excommu- 
nicate Przeclawski ; but as this excommunication 
produced no civil disabilities, it was of very little 
consequence to one who, like Przeclawski, had 
openly embraced the Protestant doctrines. 

Although the cause of the Reformation had 
obtained a signal triumph in the case of Przec- 
lawski, where the impotency of the Roman Catho- 
lic clergy to repress Protestantism by force was 
clearly proved, it was still promoted only in a 
manner which may be called passive, by proclaim- 
ing anti- Romanist opinions, by the marriage of 
some clergymen, and by the refusal to pay tithes 



to the Roman Catholic clergy. The first direct 
attack on the Roman Catholic establishment was 
Nicoiaus oies- made by Nicholaus Olesnicki, lord of Pinczov, 

nicki converts 

the first Roman who, induccd by Stancari, turned out the monks 

Catholic church ^ ^ • i . ^ • . i ^i • 

intoaProtes- from a couvcnt m his town, ejected the images 

from the church, and established there a public 
Protestant worship, according to the tenets and 
rites of Geneva.* This overt aggression on the 
Roman Catholic establishment could not be left 
unresented. Olesnicki was summoned before the 
ecclesiastical tribunal of Cracow. He obeyed the 
summons, but he arrived with such a number of 
friends and retainers, that the ecclesiastical tribu- 
nal was terrified, and dared not open its sittings. 
The clergy referred the affair to the king's judg- 
ment, acknowledging by this act their inability 
4 to cope with heresy, and, descending from the 

He is summon- dignity of a judge, became only a party. Oles- 

ed for this act . , ^ 

before the king nicki appeared before the king and the senate, 

and the senate. . , ^ i i • • • i . • 

and openly confessed his opinions and actions* 

* Andreas Tricesius (Trzecieski), a Polish writer of the 
tenth century, whom we have already mentioned^ commemo- 
rated that event in the following verses : — 

Primus ubi nutu calesti Olesnicius hems 
Aggreditur sanctcB religionis opus, 
Ejicitque suis monachos idolaque templisy 
Et sacra missarum prodigiosa Papa 
Restituit veteres cuUuSyJormamque sacrarum. 




Nicholaus Rey, whom we have already mention- • 
ed,* appeared on that occasion as the advocate of 
Protestantism ; he brought forward the most bit- 
ter accusations against the convents, the clergy, 
and the Roman church itself; he even expressed 
his thanks to Olesnicki, for having shown to his 
countrymen, instead of a despised religion, a true 
Christian worship. Zebrzydowski defended the 
established religion, and tried to attack the 
Protestant doctrines, rather on political than reli- 
gious grounds. "What will be the consequence," 
said he, " when heresy shall obtain freedom 
amongst us? There is not a crime which will not 
be perpetrated by the unbridled mob. There 
will be the like anarchy as there is in Germany, 
where the peasant no longer obeys the noble, 
the noble the prince, the prince the emperor. If 
the clergy fall, there will be also an end of civil 
authority. It is necessary to make an example, 
and to repress the dangerous innovations by 
severe laws." 

According to Roman Catholic writers, the 
king, as well as all the senate, unanimously ^\n!on"about 
voted for a severe punishment ; and even John HVgoes"un-* 
Tarnowski, who at that time was the first p"™'^^^- 
man in his country, not only by his dignity, 
but also by his personal influence, was likewise 
inclined to severe measures ; but that this uni- 

* Vide note, page 161. 


versal opinion was counterbalanced by the 
single voice of Valenty Dembinski, castellan of 
Biecz, who persuaded the king and the senate 
to abstain from any violent proceedings, and 
prevailed on them to adopt lenient measures. We 
have, however, no hesitation in declaring that 
statement incorrect, for the following reasons. 
Firstly, it is well known that Tarnowski * was 

* John Tarnowski is one of the most noble characters of 
our history. Born in 1488^ from one of the first families in 
the country^ he received the best education, and^ displayed 
great talents from his boyhood, as he could explain Virgil 
when only ten years old. Having finished his studies in 
Poland, he went on his travels, and visited the Holy Land and 
Syria, as well as the coasts of the Black Sea and those of the 
Mediterranean. He aflerwards joined Emmanuel, king of 
Portugal, in an expedition to Africa. He distinguished him- 
self there in such a manner, that he received from the Por- 
tuguese monarch the most brilliant offers if he would remain 
in his service: but having refused them, he was dismissed with 
rich presents. Tarnowski left Portugal, and spent a long time 
at the courts of Francis the First, Charles the Fiflh, and Leo 
the Tenth. He returned afterwards to his country, where by a 
long series of services he rose to the most eminent dignities, 
having become castellan of Cracow, which was the first rank 
amongst the temporal senators, and grand general of the crown, 
which rendered him the commander in chief of all the military 
forces of the kingdom. 

He was exceedingly popular in his own country, and a 
proof of the high consideration in which he was held by his 
foreign contemporaries is afforded by the wording of the patent 
by which the emperor, Charles the Fifth, created Tarnowski 
count of the Roman empire. It says, that it is not with any 




already at that time favourably inclined to the 
reformed doctrines, which he finally embraced, 
and consequently he would not have advised 
a severe punishment against those whose opi- 
nions he shared ; secondly, we have sufficient 
evidence that many senators had already at that 

intention to add to Tarnowski's dignity that this title was 
conferred on him, but that it was done in order to honour the 
body of the counts of the Roman empire by his accession to 
their number. His wealth was so great, that when John 
Zapolya, king of Hungary, was driven from his states by 
Ferdinand of Austria, Tamowski received him in his hereditary 
estate, the town of Tamow, and maintained him with his court 
during two years in a style of royal dignity. This magnificent 
hospitality was acknowledged by Zapolya in a becoming 
manner, when he re-ascended his throne. Tarnowski died at 
his castle at Tarnow in 1571, being eighty -three years old. His 
funeral was solemnized with extraordinary pomp, and honoured 
by the presence of many foreign ambassadors, who were pur- 
posely sent by their monarchs to assist at the ceremony. 
Tarnowski 'was very fond of learning, and a great patron of 
learned men, of whom he always maintained some at his court. 
He had a splendid library and composed himself the following 
works. 1. "Advices on the Art of War" written in Polish, and 
printed at Tarnow in 1558. 2. " De bello cum juratissimis 
ChrUtiantB Jidei hostibus gerendo, ad Carolum Quintum impe^ 
ratorem regem,*' This work was written when Charles the Fiflh 
intreated the author to take the command of his armies against 
the Turks. 3. A Treatise on Law, published with a collection 
of Speeches which he had made on several occasions in the 
senate (in Latin). He wrote also the history of his own times ; 
but it has never been published. From all that we have said 
about Tamowski, it is natural to suppose that all parties looked 



time openly declared for the reformed doctrines, 
and consequently an unanimous decree which 
would establish a precedent so dangerous to 
the interests of their religion, is quite inad- 
missible. Moreover, it is almost impossible to 
suppose that the monarch and the senate would 
have seriously thought of punishing a man 
like Olesnicki, belonging to one of the first 

to him as one vfho was likely to decide the balance by inclining 
to one side or the other. The Roman Catholic clergy did every 
thing to retain him in the pale of their church ; but Tamowski, 
although he displayed much moderation, was decidedly for 
great reforms to be introduced into the church, and was very 
anxious to obtain from the Pope the confirmation of the 
following indulgences for the Polish church : the communion 
of two kinds; the liturgy in the national language; the marriage 
of priests ; and the abolition of fasts as an obligation. He was 
very much opposed to the encroachments of the clerical power, 
and called the decrees of the synod of Lowicz of 1556, of 
which we shall speak hereafter, impious. Orzechowski says : 
'< Some wish to overturn the entire establishment of the old 
faith in Poland, but some others will do nothing in that 
respect. John Tamowski was for a middle course ; he did not 
wish to change the religion, but to amend its abuses.'* — Orze- 
chowski, apud Ossolinski. The Protestant writer Tricesius, 
whom we have already quoted, says : — Ecce decus nostrum 
Tarnovius sicut apostolicce damnat deliria sedis.** — Tamowski 
favourably received the eulogies given to him by Calvin for 
his advocating a reform in the church. He maintained also a 
friendly correspondence with Melancthon and the learned 
Italian reformer Vergerius. The fact of Tamowski having de- 
cidedly embraced the reformed religion is positively stated by the' 
learned Philip Padniewski^ vice-chancellor of Poland and a 



families in the country, and influential through 
his riches and connexions, if comparatively 
insignificant persons, as Krupka and the rector 
of Krzczonow, escaped without punishment, 
notwithstanding the efforts of the clergy to con- 
demn them to the most severe penalties for their 
heresy. The fact is, that Olesnicki was never 
tried for heresy, as the cognizance of such 
a case belonged to the spiritual, and not to 
the temporal tribunals, but only for the violence 
committed by him in ejecting the Roman Ca- 
tholic priests from their church and convent. 
Olesnicki was simply obliged to promise the 
restoration of the convent to the monks, whom 
he had ejected thence— but this compulsory pro- 
mise was never fulfilled. But although Pro- 
testantism manifested on that occasion sufficient 
strength to struggle with the established church 
of Poland, and to maintain the ground it had 
ganied, still it had no legal existence, no rights 
acknowledged by the national legislation, and 
might be considered only as a successful revolt 
against the ancient order of things. 

Roman Catholic bishop, who in his work, '' Ehgia illustrum 
Polonite virorum siuB etatis/* says that "Tarnowski has changed 
the religion of his ancestors^ and followed the opinion of 
those who were spreading error at that time.'* The work of 
Padniewski has never been printed, but the well-known Polish 
biographer Bohomolec, who wrote a life of Tamo w ski, pos- 
sessed the manuscript of Padniewski, and we have quoted on 
his authority the above-mentioned passage. 


Sigismund Augustus was obliged, in order to 

accelerate the coronation of his queen, Barbara 

Radziwill, to give a promise that he would 

not grant the dignities of the state to heretics : 

but his promise remained without effect, as the 

monarch was neither able, nor had any serious 

wish to fulfil it. 

The Roman The Romau Catholic church of Poland saw 

o*piotrkow of clcarly the dangers by which it was threatened • 

toclti^tehe- The primate Dzierzgowski, whom we have 

ribie mewsr^ already mentioned as the great opponent to the 

kings alliance with Barbara Radziwill, con- 
voked a synod at Piotrkow in 1552. This con- 
vocation resolved on the extirpation of heresy, 
which Mas beginning to infect the clergy itself. 
Hosius bishop of Varmia, who afterwards ob- 
tained a deplorable celebrity by his successful 
hostility to the reformers, and particularly by 
introducing the Jesuits into his country, com- 
posed on that occasion a form of creed, which 
was to serve as a test of orthodoxy for every 
true Roman Catholic. Besides the fundamental 
dogmas of the Roman Catholic church, the 
above-mentioned creed contained all the minor 
absurdities and practices which modern Rome 
has so evidently borrowed from the Pagan 
rites of the ancient city of the Caesars.* This 


*' Tu credis, aquam benedictam, invocationem sanctorum et 
comecrationem kerbanim esse efficacem ? Credis purgcUarium, 



creed was dedicated by the primate Dzierz- 
gowski to the king, whom he calls propugnator 
Jideiy and all the clergy was enjoined to sub- 
scribe to it. It was resolved at the same time 
to petition the monarch that he would order all 
the public officers, the senate, and the equestrian 
order, to subscribe to the same creed, and to 
observe it as the only true articles of faith. The 
same synod prohibited lands belonging to the 
church from being let on lease to persons sus- 
pected of heresy, and forbade the clergy to 
frequent any place or company where religious 
matters might be discussed. Besides those mea- 
sures which we may call preventive, the synod 
resolved to adopt some others of a more active 
and energetic kind. It was decided to begin a 
real war against the heretic nobles, and to impose 
for that purpose a considerable tax on the clergy. 
A most severe persecution was to be commenced 
against the heretics, and the king's assistance 
to that persecution was to be secured by the 
bribe of the confiscation of the property of the 

Paparfif Missam, jejunia, vota, atque coelib atum ? — ''Wengierski 
book i. chap. 13. Vide also '^Hosii opera," Antverpiee 1671, and 
*^ Stanislai Hosii vita autore Rescio/* RonuB 1587. According to 
Orzechowski, the subscription to the above-mentioned creed by 
the clergy was resolved because many of the bishops were 
suspected of heresy : '^ quod muHo inter episcopos erant svspccti* 
Vide Orichovii annalium. 


heretics.* The bishops of Cujavia and of Ka- 
mienietz represented in vain the dangers of 
attacking such a powerful body as the Equestrian 
order in Poland ; but this moderate advice was 
silenced by the voice of fanaticism and passion. 
The synod decided on putting into execution the 
violent resolutions it had enacted, and the bishops 
filled the country with judicial citations against 
the clergy and nobles who had broken off their 
connexion with the Roman church. They were 
confirmed in their resolution by the court of 
Rome, which recommended, by an encyclical 
rletter to the bishops, the extirpation of heresy. 
Attempt to pu? The first victim of the persecution was Nicho- 
the resolutions laus, Tcctor of KuTOw, a placc belonging to the 
^ '^ family of Zbonski, which had seceded from the 
Roman church in the times of the Hussites.* 
Nicholaus began in 1550 to preach the pure doc- 
trines of the gospel, and allowed his parishioners 
the use of the communion of two kinds. Being 
cited before the ecclesiastical tribunal, he accused 

* ^^ Decretum factum hereticos bello persequendiy magna vis 
pecunuB ecclesicuHcis imperata. Regem sibi conciliare stattierunt, 
id quid muUa extorsissent, id regem sibi vendicaturumJ* — Bzovius 
ad annum 1551. ^'Decretum erat ibi episcopos cum nobilitate 
heretica plane indicium bellum gerere" — Wengierski, book i. 
chap. IS. '* Cum hereticis plane indicium bellum gerere pecunia 
grandis sacerdotibus imperaia** — Orichovius Annalium. 

f Vide page 81. 


the bishop of his diocese, Andreas Zebrzydowski, 
and defended his doctrines from the pulpit. He Martyrdom of 
was seized, imprisoned, and suflFered martyrdom JJI^^^of '^'"^ 
either by poison or murder.* Stanislav Stadnicki, ^*"^^- 
whom we have already mentioned as the patron of 
Stancari, established in his domain, Dobiecko, 
the reformed worship, and ordered the children 
to be baptized according to its rites. Dziaduski, unsuccessful 
bishop of Przemysl, cited Stadnicki, who offered ^^cmlng 
to give a justification of his religious opinions ; oS^noWw.^ 
but the ecclesiastical tribunal rejected that 
offer, and condemned him, by default, to civil 
death and loss of property. When representa- 
tions were made against such rash proceedings, 
the bishop answered, that no leniency ought to 
be shown to heretics, who should be, whether 
present or absent, speedily judged and destroyed.f 
The sentence of the bishop, however, could not 
be carried into effect ; and Stadnicki denounced 
before his assembled fellow citizens, in the strong- 
est terms, the encroachments of the clergy on the 
rights and liberty of the nobles. " The clergy" 
said he, " not content with having filled the 

* Wengierski, book i. chap. 18. Lubieniecki relates^ that 
Martinus Kurowski, or of Kurow, was in 1550 imprisoned^ 
starved to deaths and his corpse cast out naked. Quen/. Whe- 
ther Martinus and Nicholas are the same ? Vide Hist, Re- 
Jbrmationis Pol. lib, I. 

f Cum hereiicis celeriter agendum, sive adsint, sive rum ; 
Missis, ambagibus, condemnandos, proscribendosy tollendos. 


towns with their abominations, seek to drive us 
from the kingdom, after having deprived us of 
honour and despoiled us of property. They are 
like wild beasts, which, pampered with too great 
an abimdance of food, seek to tear those who 
feed them. We must recommend to our repre- 
sentatives the enactment of laws, guarding the 
nobles from the loss of honour, life, and pro- 
perty, without being lawfully convicted by a judg- 
ment of the Diet presided over by the king." 
The clergy endeavoured to prosecute the heretics 
all over Poland. The primate himself cited 
many eminent citizens, such as the two Lasocki 
(John and Christopher), and James Ostrorog. A 
priest called Martinus Krowicki, accused of 
having married a wife, narrowly escaped martyr- 
dom, but found refuge at Pinczow, where, as we 
have already related, Olesnicki had publicly esta- 
blished the reformed worship. Two brothers of 
the name of Bialobrzeski, one abbot of Mogila, 
and the other abbot of Jendrzejow (both in the 
diocese of Cracow), were prosecuted, on account 
of their having married wives, and were in great 
danger of suffering martyrdom. 

Yet, although the Roman Catholic church of 
Poland betrayed at that time a strong desire to 
crush its opponents by the most violent persecu- 
tion, its bloody intentions were thwarted by the 
free institutions of the country, and by the uni- 
versal reluctance of the temporal magistrates to 



carry into execution the barbarous decrees award- 
ed by the ecclesiastical tribunals, against their 
fellow citizens. Except some solitary cases, as 
that of the rector of Kurow, and probably some 
few others, perpetrated in the darkness of the 
convent, and hidden by deep secrecy from the 
knowledge of an indignant public,* the efforts 
of the clergy to persecute the heretics remained 
fruitless, and their attempt to re-invigorate the 
declining power of the church, by the adoption 

* Martinus Krowicki, whom we have mentioned as having 
been persecuted for his marriage, wrote the following Polish 
lines, replete with the most terrible accusation against the 
bloody persecutions of the Roman clergy in Poland : 

Owe Krakowskie turmy by prawic umialy 
Lipowieckie katusze gdyby mowic smiaty 
Dowiedzialby sig kaSdy, jak glodem morzono, 
Poga^skim obyczajem bito i m^czono, 
Za ^mierc Xi^dza Mtchafa, Bogu odpowiecie 
Bo chociaS ksi^gi jego wszystkie popalicie 
Nie zatracicie jednak Boskiej prawdy on^y 
ZeScie skryby, Fanize i lud pot§piony. 

u e. " If the dungeons of Cracow could speak, if the tortures of 
Lipowiec dared to talk, every body would know how people 
were starved, beaten, and tormented in a pagan manner. Ye shall 
have to answer before God for the death of the priest Michel ; 
but, although you will bum all his books, you shall never 
destroy the divine truth, which proves that ye are scribes, 
pharisees, and condemned people !" — It is impossible to know 
who was the priest Michel alluded to in these lines, and what 
kind of death he had suffered. 

VOL. I. N 


of severe measures against those who had seceded 
from its pale, produced a strong reaction, favour- 
able to the professors of the reformed doctrines. 
The attempts The Equestrian order, who had constantly evinced 
clergy raise a a great jealousy of the royal authority, and 

violent opposi- f >. -w ». . . . r j. ' • 

tion on the part limited its oxtcut, SO as to eusure a perfect mvio- 
of Poiwid!*^' lability of their persons and property, perceived 

with terror the tendency manifested by the church 
to acquire a power that might prove more dan- 
gerous to their liberty than the authority of 
the monarch. The idea of becoming subject to 
the sway of a body which, directed by a foreign, 
irresponsible leader sought to usurp a right to 
decide about the honour, life, and property of 
the citizens, filled the minds of the Polish nobles 
with horror, and the same outcry which was 
raised by the Protestant Stadnicki, was uttered 
throughout Poland, even by those nobles who 
remained in the community of the Roman church. 
But the most severe blow which was inflicted at 
that time on the Roman Catholic church in 
Poland, was directed by one individual who 
deserves a particular notice in the history of 
Poland — one who might have rendered great 
services to his country in respect to religion, 
literature, and politics, if his eminent talents 
had not been degraded by an uncontrolled 
violence of passion and an utter destitution of 



Stanislav Orzechowski, better knawn to learned Sl'dhoScter* 
Europe under his latinised name of Orichovius,* *^^jhe rengious 
was bom 1513 in the palatinate of Russia (present afl^s of po- 
Gallicia). He made his first studies at Przemysl, 
a town situated in his native province, which he 
continued at Vienna, and completed at Wittem- 
berg, where he became a favourite with Luther 
and Melancthon. He adopted the opinions of 
these reformers— not, however, as it seems from 
his own confessions, from a sense of piety and 
love of truth, but because he found them more 
convenient to his reckless character. " Having 
been sent to Germany," he says himself, " I be- 
came enamoured of innovation ; I considered that 

* Vide Bayle, Diet, historique et critique^ art. Orichovius. 

N 2 


it would be very honourable to me if, by intro- 
ducing some German doctrines, I should be distin- 
guished from my equals in age, as for instance : 
such principles as, to disobey the Pope ; to have 
no respect for laws ; to revel always, and never 
to fast; to seize the church property; to know 
nothing about God; to exterminate the monks. 
After three years of study I arrived at that truth, 
that all that is old, that is paternal, is not just. 
I wished to advance further, and I passed to 
Carlostadt, of whom it was said, that all that he 
has taken from Luther, he has made still worse. 
To the guidance of such leaders I intrusted 
myself, and whoever made more and bolder 
innovations, him I considered better and more 

This description of the particular tenets which 
he confessed, expressed in the most coarse and 
abusive language, was written at a time when he 
had joined the Romanists, and attacked the Pro- 
testants ; and although the account which he 
gives of his connexion with the reformers was 
written in order to throw an odium on the Pro- 
testant doctrines, he gave at the same time a true 
picture of his passionate character, which rendered 
him, through all his life, equally dangerous as a 
friend or as an enemy. 

After having finished his studies at the German 

* Stanislai Orichovii Roxolni Chimera. Coloniae^ 1563. 


universities, Orzechowski visited Rome, and re- 
turned to his native land in 1543, thoroughly imbued 
with the opinions of the reformers. He began 
openly to broach them in his country : but he 
soon perceived that they could not afford him 
any worldly advantages, whilst the Roman Ca- 
tholic church could dispose of wealth and honours 
in favour of its defenders. He therefore entered 
into orders, and was, after some time, promoted to 
the canonry of Przemysl. But, although a mem- 
ber of the Roman Catholic clergy, he could not 
entirely conceal his real opinions, being conti- 
nually excited by his ungovernable passions, and 
stimulated by his relative, Rey of Naglowice, 
whom we have already mentioned as one of the 
first Protestant writers of his country. Afraid of 
losing, by an overt attack on the Roman Catholic 
church, the advantages he derived as one of her 
dignitaries, he did it in an indirect manner. Being 
the inhabitant of a province where the Greek 
religion was prevalent, he began to discuss in his 
writings the councils of Ferrara and Florence, 
where the supremacy of the Pope over the eastern 
church was acknowledged by the emperor of 
Constantinople and the Greek deputies. Although 
he ostensibly professed a great respect for those 
councils, and spoke with an apps^rent respect of 
the submission of the Greek church of Poland to 
the supremacy of the Popes, he expressed several 
opinions favourable to its independence, or, as 



Rome calls it, schism^ and openly defended the 
matrimony of the priests. Having been cited 
before the ecclesiastical authorities for attempting 
innovations dangerous to the repose of the church 
and the purity of its doctrines, Orzechowski made 
a recantation of his opinions, and the book which 
contained them was condemned to be burned. 

This submission of Orzechowski to the autho- 
rity of his church was not, however, of long 
duration; and when the rector of Krzczonow 
married a wife, Orzechowski took, as we have 
already mentioned,* his part violently against the 
He marries a clcrgy. Soou afterwards, he himself publicly 
h^ilgl R%? married Magdaline Chelmicki ; and when the 

bishop of Przemysl cited him on that account 
before his tribunal, he arrived in company with 
8uch numerous and powerful friends that the 
bishop dared not to open the court, but, affecting 
to judge him by default, signed a decree of 
excommunication, inflicting upon him the penalty 
of infamy and confiscation of property. 

Orzechowski was not intimidated by such pro- 
ceedings ; he entered a church during the perform- 
ance of divine service (which was instantly stopped 
on account of his presence), and exposed to the 
assembled congregation a justification of his con- 
duct. He complained at the same time before 
the tribunal of the province of the violent and 

priest, and is 
persecuted for 

His vigorous 

* Vide page 161. 


cruel proceeding of the church, and made an 
appeal from the episcopal sentence to the arch- 
bishop. The church, however, still retained its 
legal authority, and the excommunication was 
consequently binding. The king was prevailed 
upon to issue an order for its execution, addressed 
to the palatine and starost^ of Cracow ; but 
Kmita, palatine of Cracow, dared not to execute 
an order so contrary to public opinion, and sus- 
pended its fulfilment, under some pretence or 
other, till the meeting of the next Diet. The 
daring pretensions of the Romish church spread 
among the whole nation a general spirit of oppo- 
sition to its encroachments on the liberty of the 
citizens. This prevalent feeling exercised a decided 
influence on the Diet of 1550. The first nobles of 
the country, Nicholaus prince Radzi will, palatine Hostile feelings 
of Vilna, Martinus Zborowski, palatine of Kalisz, ®^^"^^(,**^'"^' 
Nicholaus Brudzewski, palatine of Lenczyca, clergy, mani- 

' \ ^ ^ festedbythe 

Raphael Leszczynski, palatine of Rava, Andreas Diet of 1550. 
Gorka, castellan of Posnania, in the senate ; Peter 
Boratynski, Nicholaus Krzycki, and John Siera- 
kowski, in the chamber of Nuncios, appeared as 
accusers of the Roman Catholic clergy. Orze- 
chowski, who had, by his passionate and brilliant 
eloquence, fanned the general indignation against 
the church of Rome into a terrible flame, succeeded 
in gaining a paramount influence over the delibe- 

* Starost, vide note in page 110. 


rations of the diet ; and he may be considered as 
having chiefly advanced on that memorable occa- 
sion the cause of religious liberty. Having read 
Influence of bcforc the Nuncios the atrocious expressions of 

Orzecliowski ftt 

that Diet. the Romau Catholic excommunication, he put 

the question whether the bishops should be 
allowed to dispose of human life by such bar- 
barous decrees ? The chamber decided that no 
one but the monarch had the right of judging 
citizens, and of condemning them to any penalty 
whatever; and its orators represented to Sigis- 
mund Augustus, that he should not permit the 
bishops to usurp the privileges of his crown.* 
Orzechowski addressed the king and the senate 
with equal boldness. He attacked Rome with 
the most bitter invectives, and justified the matri- 
mony of priests by powerful arguments. The 
bishops began to perceive their fault, and saw 
that by their untimely severity they had excited 
the hatred of the nation, which was rejecting 
their jurisdiction through the medium of its 
assembled representatives. The monarch neither 
dared, nor wished to condemn the heresy defended 
in such an able and powerful manner. These 

♦ " Nuficiijam ante adversiis Episcoporum potentiam exacerbati, 
Bzovius ad 1550. Nuncii adversus potentiam Episcoporum exa^ 
cerbati Regent adeant, oranty ne Rex Episcopos Jus regium sibi 
usurpare in Polonia pateretur, soli Regi^ convictos rerum capi* 
taliiim licere proscribere ac illorum bona publicare, praterea 
neinini** — "Wengierski, i. 13. 



considerations induced the bishops to adopt a 
more conciliatory policy ; and Macieiowski, bishop 
of Cracow, who had been always contrary to 
violence, opposed also on this occasion his wonted 
moderation to the zeal of his colleagues. The 
king suspended his decision on that important 
subject. A conciliatory conversation between the 
bishops and Orzechowski was suggested by some 
well-meaning persons. Orzechowski accepted that 
proposition, and appeared in company with his 
principal friends ; but the clergy could not consent 
to such a public humiliation as to meet on equal 
terms a culprit condemned by their authority, 
and refused him a hearing. They, however, post- 
poned the affair, and, without absolving Orze- 
chowski from the excommunication, suspended 
its effects. He was to remain quiet until the 
decision of the Pope, from whom he was to seek 
the permission of retaining his wife. 

The Diet of 1660 left the important contest 
between the Roman Catholic church and its 
adversaries without a final decision. It did not 
approve the pretensions of the former, without 
condemning the claims of the latter. The weak- 
ness of Romanism was made evident : but Pro- 
testantism did not yet succeed in establishing its 
legal existence, although it had been virtually 
embraced by the principal part of the leading 
persons of the country.* 

* ^^ Tantos sibi sumebat spiritus nobiHtas affluente haresi, qtue 



uon t'^w't lie The national indignation against the Roman 
R.c.ciejig7. clergy and its pretensions became almost the 

exclusive subject of the discussions which took 

place at the elections of 1552. All the country 

unanimously, and in a decisive manner, instructed 

their representatives at the Diet to restrict the 

authority of the bishops. The elections of the 

province of Russia, where Orzechowski had many 

friends and extensive connexions, were even more 

explicit in their demands than the others,^ and 

they positively required the Diet should abolish 

the jurisdiction of the church. Rome saw its 

danger, and the Pope requested the king, in a 

hesitating manner, to maintain the jurisdictions 

of the church, and to put into execution the 

decrees of the bishops of Cracow and Przemysl, 

which we have already mentioned. 

The Diet of The tendency of the Diet of 1552, convoked 

at its opening uudcr such auspiccs, could uot be doubtful for a 

^d^T^i!' moment. At the mass, which was usually performed 

XS!' before the opening of the deliberations, many nun- 

primarios in regno optimates infecerat, Bzovius, an. 1550. Equites 
Polonos contra vim Episcoporum non defuturos, neque passuros 
Epucopos in Polonia vUa ac fortunarum dominos esse*' — Oricho- 
vius^ Annalium^ 1551. 

* *' Nullus convenlusJuercUj in quo de nUnuenda poniificia potes^ 
iate postulata non ederentur. Equites Rutheni electis legatis 
diligenter commendaverunt, ut nulla de re prius in comiiiis ageretur, 
quam tUjudicia Episcoporum ahrogarentur*' — Orzechowski^ An« 


cios turned away their faces during the elevation 
of the host) whilst the monarch and the senate 
were bowing their knees before the sacrament. 
Raphael Leszczynski expressed his opinions in a 
more decisive manner. Standing before the king, 
without showing the slightest respect to the mass, 
he did not even uncover his head during the 
performance of the most sacred ceremony of the 
Roman church. The Roman Catholics dared 
pot to reprove this open contempt of their worship, 
and the chamber of the nuncios gave the most 
decided approbation to that daring manifestation 
of anti-Romanist opinions, by electing marshal or 
chairman of their chamber the same Leszczynski, 
who had shortly before resigned his senatorial 
dignity, in order to become a nuncio.* This act 
removed every doubt about the real disposition 
of the majority of the Diet : and, indeed, this 
disposition was so general, that parties opposite 
in politics agreed in their hostility to the epis- 
copal jurisdiction, which it was now quite impos- 
sible longer to maintain. The bishop of Przemysl, 
who had excommunicated Orzechowski, became 
the object of a general reproach ; even the bishops 

* This Raphael Leszczynski was the descendant of Wenceslaus 
of Leszna or Leszczynski, whom Huss mentions as his defender 
at the council of Constance^ and lineal ancestor of king Stani- 
slav Leszczynski, father to Maria Leszczynski, the virtuous 
queen of the profligate Louis XVth of France. 


upbraided him for having excited a storm which 

shook their authority, and proved so injurious to 

the Roman church. The king, who was naturally 

inclined to moderation, wished that they would 

themselves adopt a modification of their rights ; 

The bishops but they all, with the exception of Drohoiowski, 

rendCTthek' bishop of Vladislaw, who advised moderation, 

nghts. refused to make any concession. 

The (monarch Jseeing that nothi ng could. 


effected by conciliatory means, dssued a decree 
The ecciesiaa^^onformable to the opinion~or3Efi. majority of the 

tical jurisdic^ _^. ^ ■ i > . I . i i 

tionisvir- l^ict, uy V^hicli it was statutcd, |that the clergy 

gated by^t should retain the right of judging heresy, without 

Diett which /• • n< ,• • •% • • \ i^* 

deprived the any powcr of luflictmg civil or cnmmal penalties 

decrees of the .% i j xi_ x 'x i_ i j 

spiritual courts ou the Condemned persons ; or that it should 
dvU^effectT^ decide only on matters of religioij, but that such 

decisions could have no consequences in civil or 
political respects, jl The church could judge whe- 
ther the doctrine was orthodox or heretical, but 
could not apply any temporal punishment to those 
whose creed it condemned.! This decision, which 

• '* 1552 Rex declaravit, causarum religionis cognitionem, dog' 
malum novorum discretionem ad solos pertinere Episcopos ; verum 
honoris aut capitis diminutionem, ad illorum judicium minime 
spectare : ah eo tempore Jurisdictio Episcoporum in causas novaia 
religionis penitus concedit : quidovis impune credendi libertas, per 
totum grassaretur regnum." — Buzenski apud Ossolinski. 

Piasecki^ a Roman Catholic bishop^ says also positively^ tliat the 
king pennitted the abolishment of the penalty of infamy^ as a 
consequence of a condemnation of the church, i.e. that a sentence 
of the ecclesiastical courts should have no civil effect. Lubie- 


established religious liberty in Poland, excited irritation of the 
the greatest anger of the bishops. They made a against that 

1 J. J. 2." • J. 1 J. J- enactment. 

solemn protestation against such an enactment, 
left the hall of the senate, and threatened to 
resign their senatorial dignities. But as these 
threats were disregarded, and no effort was made 
either to retain or to recal them to the senate, 
whose deliberations proceeded in the usual man- 
ner during their absence, they resumed their 

A proposition was started, whether it would 
not be useful to the nation to abolish the dignity 
of senators nominated not by the national sove- 
reign, but by the Pope : ^. e. whether it would not 
be expedient to expel the bishops from the senate. 
This proposition produced, however, no more 
consequences than the petitions addressed to the 

niedd and Wengierski describe the Diet of 1552 as the epoch 
of the fall of the Roman Catholic clergy's preponderance in 
Poland. Bzovius, Bielski, and Orzechowski (-who at that time 
was a partisan of Rome) represented that memorable transac- 
tion in a false lights by giving only the first part of the above- 
mentioned ordinance relating to the confirmation of the epis- 
copal authority in religious matters, but they omitted that part 
which abolished its civil consequences. If the royal ordinance 
had fully confirmed the jurisdiction of the bishops^ it would be 
impossible to conceive why, since 1552, the ecclesiastical courts 
ceased to judge the heretics. Bzovius says himself: '' Nequidem 
ex decreio Regis Episcopi agere potuerint et hereses quam 
maxime execranda in omnibus regni provinciis propagerentur, 
atque episcaporumjurisdictimis potestas vilesceret/' (ad an. 1552.) 


same Diet for the introduction of the communion 
of two kinds, and the marriage of priests. 
Attempto of The Romau Catholic clergy attempted to evade 
cieigy'to evade the above-mentioued decision of the diet, and 

that enactment* . _ , • .. • ^ n ^i 

contmued its excommunications against all those 
who were abandoning the pale of their church. 
The bishops tried to induce the starosts by all 
means, and chiefly by the threats of excommu- 
nication, to execute their orders, and it happened 
sometimes that a few of those magistrates, devoted 
to the Roman Catholic church, showed a dispo- 
sition to support its pretensions, until the Diet of 
1562 enacted a positive law, that no starost was 
to act contrary to the regulations of the Diet of 
Jedlno, which gave no power to the ecclesiastical 

The church affected to regard the excommuni- 
cated persons as civilly dead, and denied their 
right to appear in judgment and to give evidence, 
and continued to annoy them by different petty 
vexations ; but the enactments of 1562, 1563, and 
1565, which were only a confirmation and develop- 
ment of that of 1552, decided that persons who 
fell under the ecclesiastical censure were not 
affected by it in their civil rights. The church 

* Vide Folumina Legum for that year. The statute of Jedlno 
(1430) enacts that the starosts should execute the decrees of the 
territorial tribunals^ without mentioning any other kind of juris- 


could declare a person a heretic and excom- 
municate whomever it liked, but the object of 
such condemnation continued to enjoy all the 
rights of a citizen. 

Orzechowski, who may be considered as the 
principal cause of the events which we have 
described, and whose works had greatly contri- 
buted to the overthrow of the barriers which the 
Roman Catholic church opposed to the progress 
of the Reformation, could have easily become the 
leader of the Protestant party. He soon, how- 
ever, betrayed by the fickleness of his character, q^^JJ^ J[ 
and the versatility of his opinions, the high voca- ^^^^ 
tion to which his ^reat talents and bold character himself with 

the R. CathO' 

seemed to entitle him. The life of that extraor- iic& 
dinary individual is indeed one of the most strike 
ing proofs, that the highest talent, destitute of 
principle, is unable to produce any thing that is 
really great or good. The Diet of 1562 was 
still engaged in rendering inefficient the pro- 
ceedings of the ecclesiastical courts against the 
heretics, when Orzechowski, who was chiefly 
instrumental in bringing about this memorable 
transaction, so hostile to the Roman church in 
Poland, was seeking a reconciliation with that 
very church. On the 17th February 1652, he 
obtained an absolution from his excommunica- 
tion; presented to a Roman Catholic synod a 
declaration of his entire adherence to its tenets,, 
and resigned his ecclesiastical dignities. He 



But again 
quarrels with 

letters to the 
to the Popes 
Julius the 1 1 Id. 
and Fkiul the 
IVth. >• 


submitted to the authority of Rome his marriage, 
a confirmation of which was promised to him by 
the bishops, who did every thing in order to 
seduce from the Protestant party such a powerful 
writer as he was. The primate Dzierzgowski 
confirmed, on the 14th March 1553, the absolu- 
tion of Orzechowski, 

The Pope, however, was delaying to give a 
decision on that important subject, as he dared 
not to approve the marriage of a Roman priest ; 
besides, Orzechowski was no longer so dangerous 
as he had formerly been, having lost, by desert- 
ing his former opinions, the extraordinary influ- 
ence which he had exercised over all the nation. 
He soon perceived that Rome wished only to 
amuse him, and he began again to attack it 
with powerful arguments and the most bitter 

In order to give an idea of the virulence of his 
writings, we shall quote some passages of his 
letters addressed to Pope Julius III : — " O holy 
father, I conjure you for God's sake, for the sake 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy angels ! 
do read what I am writing to you, and give me 
an answer ; do not play any tricks with me ; I 
shall not give you any money ; I wish not to have 
any bargains with you ; you have taken gratis, 
you must give it also gratis." In another place he 
addresses the same pontiff: — " Consider,© Julius, 
and consider it well, with what a man you will 


have to do— not with an Italian, indeed, but with 
a Russian ; not with one of your mean popish 
subjects, but with the citizen of a kingdom, 
where the monarch himself is obliged to obey 
the law. You may condemn me, if you like, to 
death, but you will not have done with me : the 
king will not execute your sentence. The cause 
will be submitted to the Diet. Your Romans 
bow their knees before the crowd of your menials ; 
they bear on their necks the degrading yoke of 
the Roman scribes ; but such is not the case with 
us, where the law rules even the throne. The king 
our lord cannot do what he likes ; he must do what 
the law prescribes. He will not say, as soon as you 
will give him a sign with your finger, or twinkle 
before his eyes with the fisherman's ring, «Stanis- 
laus Orzechowski, Pope Julius wishes you should 
go into exile ; go therefore.' I assure you that 
the king cannot wish thg^t which you do. Our 
laws allow him not to imprison, or to exile any 
one, who has not been condemned by a compe- 
tent tribunal."* 

The works of Orzechowski were put into the 
papal index, and he was declared himself by the 

ecclesiastical writers to be a servant of Satan.-f 

^,,_- ^ 

* Apud Ossolinski^ Orzechowski calls himself a Russian, 
being, as we have already said, a native of the Palatinate of 
that name. 

f Premislensis Episcopus Stanislaum Orichoviuin Satanoe ad- 
ministrum Judiciorum severitati suhjeciU Raynaldus. 

VOL. I. O 


But this proceeding excited only new and more 
vehement attacks on the part of Orzechowski, 
who assailed Pope Paul the IVth in the follow- 
ing words : " Since the abominable CarafFa, who 
calls himself Paul the IVth, has ejected from the 
church Moses and Christ, I shall willingly fol- 
low them. Can I consider it as a disgrace to be 
a companion of those whom he calls heretics ? 
This anathema will be an honour and a crown to 
me. The neglect of the ancient discipline has 
corrupted and degraded us. Paul the IVth, take 
care to prevent the final fell of your see. Clear 
the city from its crimes ; eradicate avarice ; despise 
the profits arising from the sale of your favours. 
I shall clearly explain, and prove to my country- 
men, that Roman corruption does more harm to 
the church than the Lutheran perversity." He 
covered the same Pope with the most opprobrious 
names, as for instance, *^ a sacrilege, a human 
monster, a wolf, scoundrel, drone, ass, ravenous 
beast, &c." Besides these invectives which he 
addressed to the Roman pontiff, Orzechowski 
announced a new work, entitled ^^ Repudium 
Romae,"* in which he was to expose all the 
errors and crimes of the Popes ; entirely secede 
from the Roman church, and pass over to the 
Greek one, which was followed at that time by a 
great part of the inhabitants of his native province. 

* The manuscript of that work was read by Modrzewski. 


Orzechowski, who was again excommunicated in 
1557, by the primate Dzierzgowski, for his attacks 
on the church of Rome, returned soon afterwards 
to the obedience of the same church that had 
excited his hostility. The death of his wife re- 
moved a great obstacle to his reconciliation with 
the Roman clergy, who were glad to silence such 
a desperate antagonist, and to convert hiii\ into a 
useful tool for combating their enemies. Orze- 
chowski had become dangerous to the clergy, 
particularly by the strong arguments, couched in 
the most violent language, always acceptable to 
the multitude of readers, with which he advocated 
the expulsion of the bishops from the senate. 
The observations which he published on the oath 
of fidelity to the Roman see taken by the bishops. His pungent 
proved forcibly that they could not be entrusted oath of fidelity 
vnth public offices; that a R. C. bishop invested taken byThe 
with the dignity of a senator of the realm, was ne- ^* ^' bishops. 
cessarily a traitor to his country, as he was obliged 
to prefer the interests of Rome to those of his sove- 
reign, having sworn allegiance firstly to the Pope 
and then to the king. " The oath," says Orze- 
chowski, addressing the king " abolishes the li- 
berty of the bishops, and renders them spies of the 
nation, and of the monarch. The higher clergy 
having voluntarily submitted to this slavery, have 
entered by the same into a conspiracy, and raised 
a rebellion against their own country. Conspiring 
against you, they were sitting in your council, 

o 2 

196 sKEiqn of the 

they were investigating your plans, and reporting^ 
them to their foreign master. If you would, for 
the benefit of the public cause, limit the papal 
usurpations, they would proclaim their excommu- 
nications, and excite some bloody riots. The Pope 
has emitted from his bosom the monks, who like 
the locusts fell on your lands. Look only on all 
those crowds who are conspiring against you: 
how numerous and how barbarous they are! 
Cast your looks on the abbots, convents, chapters, 
and synods, and be assured that as many shaven 
crowns you will meet, so many conspirators you 
have. Surrounded with every kind of luxury, and 
similar to well-fed swine, they live amidst their 
paramours a comfortable and blessed life, and fat- 
ten themselves for the pasture of hell. It is very 
indifferent to them whether you are triumphant 
or humiliated, whether the country is happy or 
miserable. Has not a bishop said to your ances- 
tor, * Let rather the whole kingdom perish than 
the treasury of the church, being the heritage of 
the Pope and not of the king, should give one 
single penny to the wants of the public ? * Other 

* The Polish clergy were indeed very rich. For instance : An- 
dreas Lipski^ bishop of Cracow in 1630^ left at his death 900^000 
ducats (about £450^000) in cash^ without reckoning his mobi- 
liary. John Kuczborski, bishop of Chelm in 1623, left 500,000 
ducats. CarafFa, bishop of Plock in 1615^ bequeathed to his 
brother 7,000,000 dollars. The incomes of the bishops must 
have been immense if, notwithstanding a great expense which 



countries having perceived how dangerous it 
is to admit the servants of the Pope to the 
government of the country, excluded the bishops 
from their senates ; follow their example — that 
of the Venetians, for instance. It is necessary to 
enact a law which would preserve to the clergy 
only their spiritual duties, and deprive them of 
political government. Let them baptise and preach, 
but not direct the affairs of the country. If, how- 
ever, they wish to retain the senatorial dignity, let 
them renounce the allegiance of Rome. Is the 
Polish church not sufficient for them ? But other- 
wise, they must not be considered as citizens of 
the country, because no one can conscientiously 
serve two masters. The Pope imposes a yoke by 
means of his slaves, the monks and the bishops, to 
the very king, although the royal authority is 
independent, and derived from God."* 

they were obliged to make, they could save such enormous 
sums, which established the fortunes of many a family in Po- 
land. The expense to which the Polish bishops were exposed 
was indeed very great. They were obliged to keep princely 
establishments ; many of them maintained at their costs regi- 
ments for the service of the state ; they were bound to exercise 
a most profuse hospitality; and it is a well-known anecdote that 
an eminent clergyman refused a bishopric^ saying that he 
did not wish to become a cook to the Polish nobles. 

* Deprimatu Papa, 8vo. 1558. It was published anony- 
mously, without the place of printing, and some doubts were 
entertained as to its real author; but Modrzewski positively states 
that it was written by Orzechowski. Vide his Narratio simplex* 


Orzechowski limited not his attacks against 
Rome to the political supremacy of the Popes, 
but he likewise impugned their spiritual autho- 
rity, proving that it was entirely founded on a 
false interpretation of the words addressed by our 
Saviour to Peter, *^ Thou art Peter, and upon this 
rock I will build my church." 

Such were the assaults which that unprincipled 
man directed against the Roman Catholic church, 
as long as its precepts presented an opposition to 
his unbridled passions. But after the death of 
his wife, when the chief obstacle to his reconci^ 
liation with the Roman church was removed by it, 
and when his growing age gave to ambition and 
avarice a preponderance over other passions 
which excited that violent character, Orzechow- 
ski recanted again all his writings against the 
Roman Catholic church, and became finally re- 
Hebecomeft couciled with it in 1559. After that time he 
cii^'^JSTIhe became as zealous a champion of the Roman 
a^li ^urn^'hia*' church as hc had formerly been its antagonist. 
attacks against fje uow directed his hostility against the Protes- 

its antagonists. ^ "^ ^ 

tants, with the same virulence and scurrility 
which chai*acterises his works against Rome. 
Andreas Modrzewski and the Italian Stancari, 
who may be considered as two individuals who 
have exercised the greatest influence on the 
religious affairs in Poland, and who consequently 
deserve a particular notice, now became the chief 
objects of his hatred. 


Andreas Frycz Modrzewski was bom in the Andeas mo. 
palatinate of Sandomir in 1506, and embraced c^racterand 
the opinions of the reformers during the preceding ^^^^* 
reign,* although he never publicly joined any 
one of the Protestant persuasions which became 
established during his life time.f In 1534 he went 

* ^^Afferehantur Ubriejus (LutheriJ ex Gemmnia ad nos, ac 
in ipsa academia Cracavtensi publice vendebaniur, legebaniur a 
muUis rerum novarum cupidis ; nee a Theologis nostris improba' 
rentur — tantum abest, ut libros velitas legerent, ut etiam eos igni 
cremareni, aique in nostra Pokmia infiniti esseni, qui se in illarum 
disciplinam tradiderunty quam et complecterunt etfateretUur et pra^ 
Jiterentur. Cum Ubros cognoscendi causa legissem^Jieri non poie^ 
reUj quin opiniones veteres in me minuereniur, nova conciperentur,'* 
This narration gives an idea of the general disposition of minds 
amongst the most enlightened persons in Poland at that time. 

f '^Schola cujus partes mihi sumpsi, hoc semper datum fuit, ut 
de rebus quibusvis disserereU Nolo ut quisquam se mihi addicat : 
nam neque ipse mihi satisfacio, nee cuiquam addictus sum : nee 
istif nee illi nos numerarunt in suisJ'^-'lle wanted to discuss reli- 
gious matters with a philosophical calm. ^'Phihsophia adhibenda, 
fan^uam inHrun^L et ratio ^dan. ac ^verUatU in^i 
renda.*' He had a great dislike to theological subtleties. " CeS' 
seruni Uli labyrinthi de natures et perscme diversa distinctione ^ 
de quo quidem a muUis scribuniur et dicuntur muito sonu. An 
vero ab aliquo intelliguniur persuadere mihi non possum. Labore 
maximo discuniur, fructu vero minimo aut potius nuUoJ* He re- 
commended peace, charity^ preaching of pure evangelical doc- 
trine^ and good works ; and says : '^hoc sifecerimus magisjlnem 
et perfectionem theologia assequemur, quern si omnia quastionium 
genera ediscamus et perdiscamus* Redeundum nobis adsimpUci' 
tatem prqfessionis apostoUca. Non in subtilitaie verborum, nee 
intellectus varia consideratione pietas religiosa constitii. Cur tor" 
tuosas et obscura varietate implicatas excogitamus formulas, qtue 



to the university of Wittemberg, where he com- 
pleted his studies under the direction of Melanc- 
Ihon, whose friendship and esteem he fully 
possessed.^ After having remained for some 
time in other parts of Grermany, he returned to 
his country, where he became secretary to Sigis- 
mund Augustus, and succeeded in gaining the 
unlimited confidence of that monarch- The par- 
ticulars of the life of that remarkable man are very 
little known. All that we know is, that his 
works were written or published between 1548 
and I565.t 

in re Jundamentum kabeant nullum." We are much afraid that 
this view of religion was bordering on indifference; for what 
other motive could induce Modrzewski to remain within the 
pale of the Roman churchy whose abuses and superstitions he 
had condemned in a decided manner ? He says positively, in 
one place^ that he followed the opinions of the school of Pinczow 
andDubiecko: '*quam ego sequar sckolam Pinczaviensiutn etDu* 
biecenseiUf* (vide his Narratio simplex.) But those schools which 
were at that time under the influence of Stancari had not yet 
any defined opinion about the doctrine of the Trinity, which the 
first of them only afterwards rejected, and therefore we do not 
think that Bock is right in calling Modrzewski a Socinian; vide 
his History of Sociuianism* 

* ^*M€ scepe in rebus duris cansilio et oratume sud juvit et 
erexii" says Melancthon of Modrzewski. Vide Boch. Hist. 

t The principal works of Modrzewski are : 1. ^'De homici^ 
diis/' four Speeches. — 2. ^'De utrdque specie Eucharistite a 
Laicis sumenda, Praga 1549." — 3. **Z)e republicd emendandd, 
libri quinque ;" viz. Imo. *de Moribus»'~^2do. *de Legibus.'^Stio. 



He was abused by the Roman Catholic writers, 

'de Bello/'-^^to. 'de Ecclesia.'-^to. 'de iScAofe.'— -The last book 
is decidedly anti-Roman. Cracow, 1551. Basil, 1554 and 1559* 
The edition of Cracow contains not the book de Schola. It was 
translated into German, French, and Spanish. — 4. *'De legatis 
ad consilium mittendis" (according to Bock, Cracow 1546). It 
was dedicated to John Tarnowski, to whom the author says : 
'' in duris temporibus meis hospitium prcebueris." It is the most an- 
ti-Roman of all M odrzewski's works, and it excited much anger 
from the Roman Catholics.^ — 5. ^'De Ecclesia, liber secundtiSy* 
dedicated to Pope Paul the Fourth, with an evident irony.^— 
6. A treatise against the enactment of 1543, which gave ex- 
clusively to the nobles the right of possessing landed property, 
published under the name of Philatetes.— 7. '*De mediator e^ 
libri tres" dedicated to the reformed Synods of Vodzislav and 
Xionz, as well as to Stanislav Stadnicki and Hieronymus 
Ossolinski, two grandees following the same persuasion, in 1560; 
he leans in that work to the opinions of Stancari. — 8. Three 
books on the Sin, on the Free-will, and on Predestination, in 
1563. — 9. On the means of making war against the Infidels. 
The archiepiscopal library of Lambeth possesses a Spanish 
translation in manuscript of that work, which was sent to the 
King of England by the translator, John Justiniani of Padua.- — 
10. "St/lva quatuor;*' the first and second of them dedi- 
cated to the king, in December 1565 3 the third to Pope Pius 
the Fifth, in June 1568 ; the fourth to James Uchanski, archbi- 
shop of Gniezno and primate of Poland, in June 1569 : all 
the four were published at Racow in 1592. This work was 
written by the express order of king Sigismund Augustus, who 
had charged Modrzewski to give him an account of the state of 
religious parties in Poland. It savours strongly of a philoso- 
phical indifference about the principal dogmas of the Christian 
religion, an indifference which seems to have been shared by his 
royal master, and which accounts for the vacillating conduct 
which Sigismund Augustus held in respect to the religious 



and also praised by some of them ;* but he gained 
a universal approbation from the Protestants^f 
and the general respect of the most eminent 
scholars of Europe. Sigismund Augustus con- 
stantly recurred to his advice ; and although he 
occupied only the subordinate station of a royal 

parties wluch agitated Ids dominions. The above-mentioned 
work is exceedingly rare^ but the archiepiscopal library of 
Lambeth possesses a copy of it. '^ Narratio simplex ret nova A 
ejusdem pessmi exempli^ Pmcsow 1561." It contains the 
account of his differenes with Orzechowski. 

*Lippomani says: ^'SoleoLibrumFricii aliquando legere ; video 
virum bonum esse et dochim, sed illud rum laudo quod scripserit 
contra confessionem Pdricoviensem." We have ab-eady mentioned 
that creed ; but the work alluded to by Lippomani seems to 
have been lost, and we quote the words of Lippomani from 
Modrzewski himself— '^ Andreas Modrevius nefariis dogmatihus 
imbutta infectahai ecclesia partes. Scripsit nihilominus egregium 
de moribus UbeUum ; itemque allium de legibus in quo ingentem 
facundMB suas mm et ingenii vires declaravit, Scripserat et de schold 
atque ecclesid; sed quia kacce erroribus resperseratf ideo a prohis 
et pUs contempti periere cum soniiu sicuti et alia ejus scripta, his 
exceptis in quibus nuUam religionis mentionemJecU.'* Starowolski 
Scriptorum Polonorum, page 77. 

t Modrzewski himself quotes the following letter addressed 
to him by John Justiniani : '* Nullum opus supra miUe annos exisse 
in lucem praclarius : a condito urhe nullum aliud vet veterum 
vel recentiorum simile illi kactenus editum esse. Me evangeticorum 
omnium feri acutissimum et doctissimum — tanti te Jacio et scripta 
tua Frici, ut ne syllaham quidem interire velim. Tanti ego omnia 
etfeci kactenus et etiamnum Jacio, ut nuUo cujusquam profjudicio 
ilia mihi vilescere patiar. Vide Modrzewski's Si^lva III. : it was 
written in 1555. 


secretary, he directed the most important affairs 
of the state. He was employed in many embassies ; 
as, for instance, to Brunswick, Denmark, Prus- 
sia, to king Ferdinand, and to the emperor Charles 

the Vth^ 

It was but natural that an individual of such 
talent, learning, and influence as Modrzewski, 
was sought to be enrolled as a partisan by the 
church of Bome, and that he was much detested 
by the same church for having rejected its offers. 
The Roman Catholic clergy were particularly 
alarmed by the views which Modrzewski deve- 
loped in his dissertation on the church, and of 
which we shall hereafter amply speak. The 
popes Paul the IVth and Pius the Vth excom- 
municated Modrzewski, and enjoined to the 
Polish clergy to prosecute him as a heretic 
But as the ecclesiastical censures produced then 
very little effect in Poland, the clergy sought for 
a champion who should be able to cope with 
such a powerful enemy as Modrzewski was. They 
found him in Orzechowski, to whom they pro- 
mised a full pardon of his past errors, and many 
advantages, if he would attack Modrzewski. 
Orzechowski displayed on that occasion a great 
meanness of character, having not only accepted 
Ihe proposition of assailing his former friend,* 

* Modrzewski had dedicated his work on the Eucharist 
to Stanislao Orickovio Butkeno amico sua. 



Stancari, prin- 
cipal object of 
the attacks of 

but chiefly, by taking advantage of the con- 
fidential conversations which he had formerly 
had with Modrzewski on religious subjects. He 
accused him before an ecclesiastical tribunal, 
insisting that if Modrzewski would not publicly 
recant those opinions, he should be declared a 
convicted heretic. The accusation produced, how- 
ever, no consequences, as the tribunal, daring 
not to judge such an influential man as Mo- 
drzewski, who, moreover, had not seceded from 
the Roman church by any overt act, evaded the 
cognizance of a cause, which could have no other 
result than to widen the breach which separated 
Modrzewski from the Roman clergy. The chief 
object against whom Orzechowski vented his 
rage, when he became the champion of the Roman 
Catholic church, was the Italian Stancari,* a 

* Stancari, or Stancar^ was born at Mantua in 1501 : we know 
very little about his fortunes in Italy. Tiraboschi says, that he 
published in Italy in 1525, a Hebrew grammar ; and states^ on 
Gerdensius' authority^ that he composed, in his native country, 
a treatise on the Reformation^ in Italian, which was printed at 
Basil 1547^ and dedicated to the magistrates of Venice. Tira^ 
boschi thinks that it was during his residence at the terra de 
SpilinbergOy in Friul, where he was, about the time of the 
publication of the above-mentioned work^ professor of Hebrew. 
(Vide Tiraboschi's Storia della Litteratura Italiana, vol. vii. 
part ii. p. 368.) M'Crie, who quotes the above-mentioned pas- 
sage of Tiraboschi^ states also that Stancari took a part in the 
dissensions which agitated the Protestant Italian church at 
Chiavenna^ and that in 1547 he was obliged to flee from 



native of Mantua, who was called to Cracow 
as a professor of Hebrew. We have already 
mentioned that, having publicly attacked the 
worship of saints, and manifested other Pro- 
testant opinions, he was imprisoned ; but being 
released by the influence of some nobles professing 
the same religious opinions as himself, he retired 
to Pinczow, where he induced Olesnicki, the lord 
of that place, to set the first example of intro- 
ducing the reformed worship, instead of the 
Roman Catholic service. He went afterwards 
for some time to Konigsberg, where he engaged 
in a dispute with Osiander* about the mediation 

Augsburg to Ccmstance, in company with Ochino, for fear of 
being delivered to the emperor Charles the Vth. (Vide M'Crie's 
History of the Reformation in Italy, pp. 370, 382.) He arrived 
at Cracow about 1550, being called from Villach, in Carynthia, 
by the bishop of Cracow, Maciejowski, who apparently was 
ignorant of his Protestant opinions. We refer our readers for 
farther particulars about Stancari to the Historical and Critical 
Dictionary of Bayle, who devoted about eight pages in folio 
to him* 

* Osiander maintained that man is justified by God*s essen- 
tial justice, and that Jesus Christ is our righteousness, according 
to his divine nature ; but Stancari asserted, that Jesus Christ 
is our mediator according to his human nature only. It is 
said that he borrowed that doctrine from Peter Lombard, for 
whom he had such a veneration, that he was used to say, 
*' Peter Lombard alone is worth one hundred Luthers, two 
hundred Melancthons, three hundred Bullingers, four hundred 
Martyrs, five hundred Calvins, who, if they were all pounded 
together in a mortar, would not produce one ounce of sound 


• if- 


of Jesus Christ Having visited Hungary and 
Transylvania, in order to promote the cause of 
reformation in those countries, he returned 
again to Poland. He published the rules for 
organizing the Polish churches,* which he wrote 
on the in vitation of some Protestant noblemen 
of Poland,^ and dedicated to king Sigismund 
Augustus. When Stancari returned to Poland, 
the church of Pinczow began to agitate those 
questions which have led to the anti-Trinitarian 
doctrines, and produced a sect hostile to all reli- 

divinity/' A pretty gpedmen of the polemical style of that 
time. Vide Bayle. 

* They appeared at Francfort-on-the»Maine, under the title 
of Canones Reformatumis EcclesiarumPoUmue, fifty canons. We 
know them only by Orzechowski'a work, ^' Chimera/' written 
against Stancari, and published at Cologne 1563. 

f He says in his dedication to the king : **A quibusdam noit- 
lihusiuis pUs legitime vocaiusjui, ui ecdesias refonnaremf ut in ilUs 
puram Christi doctrinam pro fdUof ac veram religionis pietaiem 
pro impio cuUu idolairicorum reHiluerem, mores ac disciplinam 
tarn cleri quam populorum corrigerem. Episcopi abominandam 
idolatriam defendant, faham doctrinam decent, bonis ecclesiarum 
abutuntur, corrigi nolunt cum sciant, si res ad judicium delata 
esset, se causam suam iueri non posse, HHco ad majestatem tuam 
accusarunt, et nobUes illos et me cum quibusdam piis ministris 
seditionis auctores, rerum novarum amatores, unde non cognita 
causa omnes condemnati sumus ac negotium reformationis imper- 
Jectum." The condemnation of Stancari and his fellow minis- 
ters is not mentioned by any author^ and we have extracted 
that passage from the above-mentioned work of Orzechowski^ 
*^ Chimera," &c. Vide Bayle, article <^Orichovius et Stancar." 



gious revelation. These dangerous questions 
were however agitated at that time with great 
caution, and no overt attack on the mystery of 
the Trinity had as yet been made. Stancari has- 
tened considerably, although without intention, 
the development of the anti-Trinitarian opinions, 
by putting forward the dogma, that the mediation 
of Jesus Christ was made only according to his 
human nature. This raised a violent dispute, in 
which the divines of Geneva took a decided part 
against Stancari, whose opinions were also con- 
demned by the reformed synods of Xionz and 
Sandomir, which sentenced his works to be burnt. 
Stancari retired to Stobnitza, where he died in 1 574, 
having left a family, whose descendants still con- 
tinue in Poland, bearing the name of Stancari, and 
professing the reformed religion. 

The rules or canons of Stancari which we 
have mentioned, do not exhibit any new doctrine 
different from those that have been established 
by other reformers. We know them only from 
the work of Orzechowski, who copied those which 
he considered to be the most pernicious and added 
to them his own observations, written in a Roman 
Catholic sense, and replete with his characteristic 
scurrility. The principal of them are — ^The singing 
of the mass is an idolatry. The Eucharist is only 
a sign and a remembrance of the Lord's supper. 
The service is to be performed in the national 
language. The images of saints and martyrs 


must not be worshipped. The ancient customs 
may be abolished. The episcopal oflSce or dignity 
should be given only to such as are able to fulfil 
its duties. It is necessary to establish a school 
for teaching pure divinity, eloquence, languages, 
and logic ; and the revenue of the church may 
be conscienciously applied to such a sacred use. 
The permission of the authority is not requisite 
for doing good. We must be obedient to the 
supreme ruler, Jesus Christ, but not to his vicars, 
who have rebelled against him. The church must 
convoke frequent synods and meetings. The ex- 
ample of the church of Pinczow, which held 
weekly meetings, deserves to be imitated. The 
ministers of religion and the teachers of schools 
ought to be paid from the public treasury. But 
the maxim for which Orzechowski particularly 
inveighs against Stancari is, that if the king 
should be opposed to the reform of the church, 
the nation had the right of doing it by itself,* 
Orzechowski attacked Stancari not by arguments 
founded on the scriptures or ecclesiastical autho- 
rity, but with the most violent abuse, calling him 
by every opprobrious name that he could invent, 

* Orzechowski calls this a criminal levelling of the king 
with the people : — *' Huncfurciferum Stancarum, ausum esse hcBc 
verborum partenta in Pohmid edere^ vivo Rege ac Senatu : fur^ 
latrOf nebulo," Orzechowski seems to forget that the first Chris- 
tians abandoned idolatry without the permission of the em- 
peror and the senate. 


and the extravagant ideas of Papal supremacy 
which he advocated in the above-mentioned work, 
** Chimera," made even some Roman Catholics un- 
easy about their effect.* It would be uninteresting 
to enumerate all the injurious terms which 
Orzechowski applied to the object of his hostility ; 
but we shall only give a few of his general re- 
marks on the state of the country, and which afford 
a fair specimen of the arguments and language 
of the party which he defended at that time :— 

** The abominable locusts of Arians, of Mace- 
donians, Eutychians, and Nestorians have fallen 
in our fields. They increase and spread over all 
Poland and Lithuania, through the supineness of 
our magistrates. An insolent mob scatters fire, 
destroys the churches, perverts the laws, corrupts 
the manners, despises the authority, and degrades 
the government. It will overturn the throne- 
destroy the state. It is much more important to 
defeat the heretical fury, than the Moscovite 

Orzechowski accused Stancari of destroying 
religion and the existing political order ; of excit- 
ing the youths to dangerous innovations ; of under- 

* Cardinal Hosius wrote to Orzechowski: — '^ Chimera tua 
muUorum virorum doctissimorum territur manibus et eorumjudicio 
vehementer probatur. Quam et ego legi lubens, teque de ista prce- 
clara voluntate tuendcB Jidei catholiciE non possum non vehe- 
menter laudare" Vide Hosii Opera. 

t Apud Ossolinski^ tome iii. p. 422. 

VOL. I. P 


mining the lawful authorities; of arousing the 
lower against the upper classes ; of flattering the 
mobs, by recommending the spoliation of church 
property ; of introducing the community of goods, 
and abolishing private property ; of introducing 
a perfect equality amongst all the inhabitants of 
the country, so that there should be neither mas- 
ters nor servants. As we have no opportunity of 
consulting the original work of Stancari, which 
we doubt very much is in existence, and must 
therefore judge of it only by what we know from 
Orzechowski, we are unable to form an opinion 
whether Stancari had really expressed some ideas 
about the extension of political rights, which 
were exclusively possessed in Poland by the no- 
bles, to the other classes of the community ; or 
whether the accusation of his antagonist is no- 
thing more than a repetition of the general out- 
cry raised by the Roman Catholics against the 
reformers, that they aimed at the destruction of 
the established political and social order. The 
system which Orzechowski advocated in opposi- 
tion to Stancari, as the only one by which the 
state could be saved from an imminent destruction, 
was that which the Roman Catholic Church tried 
everywhere to oppose to the progress of the 
Political doc- reformation. It was that of strictly maintaining 
rd"by orae-'*" the aucicut laws and customs, without allowing 
h^^nairecJn- ^^7 religious OT political innovation; to crush 
Rome." ""'^ heresy, and to restore to the Roman Catholics 


an unlimited authority ; that the clergy should 
be considered as the first class of the country, 
which directs and judges the nation, but cannot 
be judged itself by any one ; that every temporal 
authority should be subject to the pope, and the 
king himself ought to be only the servant, the 
tool, and the sword of the clergy. No other, 
perhaps, has asserted in a more explicit and 
bold manner the supremacy of Rome over the 
monarchs of Christendom than Orzechowski, who 
says, " the king is established only that he should 
serve the clergy. The supreme pontiff alone 
establishes kings, and as he establishes them, he 
has an authority over them. The hand of a priest 
is the hand of Jesus Christ himself. The abolition 
of the archbishop of Gnezno would be followed 
by the abolition of the Polish crown, the over- 
throw of the royalty, and the fall of Poland 
itself. The archbishop of Gnezno is the corner- 
stone of the state, the first magistrate of the 
realm, the guardian of the public liberty ; he 
defends the nation, and limits the power of the 
monarch. The authority of St. Peter cannot be 
subject to any other, but is superior to all ; it 
pays neither tribute nor taxes. The mission 
of the priest is superior to that of the king. 
The king is the subject of the clergy ; the 
king is nothing without the priest. The pope 
has the right of depriving the king of his 
crown. The priest serves the altar, but the king 

p 2 


serves the priest, and is only his armed minister. 
The king of Poland is the servant of the priests, 
and is established that no one should dare to rise 
against the ecclesiastical authority." Orzechovi^ski, 
who maintained that there could be no know- 
ledge of God beyond the pale of the domination 
of the pope, * represented the state in the form of 
a triangle, the top of which was held by the 
clergy, and the body was constituted by the king 
and the nobles. The remainder of the nation 
was nothing, and the author only recommended 
to the nobles to govern the people with a paternal 
rule. Such were the opinions publicly broached 
by the very man who, a short time before, attacked 
with an unbridled virulence the same church to 
which he attempted now to give such a decided 
supremacy over the state. 

The opinions about the supremacy of the 
spiritual over the temporal authorities, which 
Orzechowski, pushed by the vehemence of his 
ungovernable passions, proclaimed without any 
disguise, must have a considerable value in the 
eyes of every reflecting reader, because they may 
be considered as a faithful exposition of the 
principles by which the world would have been 
governed, if the Roman Catholic church had 
succeeded in crushing its adversaries. Orze- 

* " Dairn perdidisti, qui extra papatum neque scitur neqne 
€Og7ioscitur,'* — Vide ** Chimerae." 


chowski (lid nothing but proclaim the opinions 
which were entertained by the Roman Catholic 
church : and the greatest luminary of that church 
in Poland, Cardinal Hosius, of whom we shall 
have ample opportunity of speaking, gave his 
unqualified approbation* to the propositions of 
Orzechowski, who perfectly well expressed how 
little the interests of the Roman clergy were 
connected with those of the country, having the 
impudence to declare that it was much better to 
abandon the realm to the Moscovites than to 
heretics. These wishes have been alas, realized \ 
Protestantism was crushed in Poland, and the 
Moscovite domination is established 1 

This dangerous ally could not, however, restore 
the lost influence of the Roman Catholic church 

* Hosius wrote to Orzechowski, **MAi7 est triangulo tuo veriils, 
nam ubi non est altare neque sacerdos, ibi neque Regnum legitimum 
cognosco, dubium non est" There is no doubt that by sacerdos is 
meant only a Roman priest^ as the same Hosius says- ^'me vides 
assiduum, acrem atque acerbum, hiereticorum in Polonia adver- 
sarium," (ann. 1563. Hosii Opera.) According to such a doc- 
trine, only Roman Catholic civil authorities are legitimate. 
The doctrine of the supremajcy of the Pope over the monarchs 
of Christendom has been defended in our days to the same 
extent as it was done by Orzechowski, but in a more refined 
style^ by authors of first-rate talent, as the Count Desmaistre 
(vide his Soirees de S.Petersbourg: du Pape;) and by the T Abbe 
de Lamennaisj who, having been the defender of despotism and 
popery, afterwards changed his opinions to another extreme^ 
with a versatility equal to that of Orzechowski. 


in Poland, whose condition, according to the 
confession of its most zealous defenders, was at 
that time quite desperate* Nothing remained 
to that superannuated establishment, but carefully 

♦Many Roman Catholic writers attest the desperate condition 
in which their church was placed at that time in Poland : — for 
instance^ Piasecki, a Roman Catholic bishop^ says : " Senatus 
regnijam majori parte constahai ex hcdreticis." — " Vix non major 
pars senatus, maxima etiam equestri ordinis novas de religione 
sententias sequebatur,"'^'H.eidenstein. "Illis temporibus res catho- 
licai^mferk dephrata erat, cum in amplissimo senatu vix unus at- 
que alter, printer episcopos, qui se insanis moUtionibus opponerent, 
reperiebatur" — Cichocki ColloquiaOsiecensia. '^Ita ea lues in- 
valuerat, ut senatus, quidem major pars ex Juereticis constaret, 
idem inter equestrem ordinem, non quidem numero, sed ad 
quavis functiones obeundas dexteritate eminerent, primasque 
et in privatis et in publicis conciliis ac conventibus sibi partes 
vindicarent" Lubienski de gerendo Episcopatu. <* Cum interea 
tales (CalvinianiJ vel ipsis Luther anis tarn detestabiles in 
senatu regio prima loca propemodum obtineant et prcs-'Cetaris 
apud majestatem regiam gratid et authoritate valere, dicuntur" 
Hosius, Epistolffi Clarorum virorum. Rome itself despaired 
of retaining Poland under its domination, as it is manifest 
from the evidence of a papal writer : " Hueresim ipsam jam 
inter aliqtios ex vestris ( Episcopis ) PoUmicB ita irrepere, ac 
cceteras omnes ita perturbare ccepisse, ut nulla spes apud nos^prceter 
quam in Deo ipso atque in hac sancta sede relicta esse videatur" — 
RaynalduSj anno 1555-6. '^Malum nonparum auctum et corro' 
boratum esse intelleximus, ne natio ilia universa corrumpatur, 
atque ifi id mali genus facile incidat, quod aut nunquam, aut raro 
sanari possit." Ibidem. " PotentesfamiluB diver sas kareses am- 
plexcB omnibus nerviset machinis ecclesiasticMm ordinem impetebant, 
ne Episcopijurisdictione sua in prqfligandis kceresibus et puniendis 
impiis uterenlur** — Bzovius, ad ann. 1555. Such was the reli- 


to avoid every commotion by which its edifice, 
already shaken by the hostile attacks of the 
groM^ing Protestantism, would fall to pieces. To 
remain stationary amidst the intellectual move- 
ment of the time, and to avoid every change in 
its organization, was the line of policy which it 
adopted, and which was, perhaps, the only one 
which it could follow for some time. 

gious state of Poland during the middle of the sixteenth century, 
according to the evidence of the Roman Catholic writers which 
we have quoted ; we may therefore credit the statement of the 
anti-Romanist writers^ that at the accession of Sigismund the 
Third there were, besides the bishops, only seven Roman Ca- 
tholics in the Polish senate^ and even less in that of Lithuania^ 
(vide Wengierski^ and VtndicuB Unitariorum apud Sandius. The 
state of the Roman Catholic clergy in Poland at that time is 
described by one of the most zealous defenders of their cause^ 
Cardinal Hosius, quoted in the following words: ^^Quo majore 
sumus reprekensione digni, qiiod Dei regno postkabito quod inter 
nos est, SathancB potius regnum qucsrimus : ac verba quidem ut 
adveniat nobis regnum Christi qucerimus, re vero ipsum Sathanam 
in nobis regnare volumus. Dolenter dicOf omnes prope derelicto 
regno Dei, Sathanae regnum qucerimus, muUum nos ab officii nostri 
religione declinare^ neque alii Jere rei quam cogerendis opibus 
avide ihkiare. Sido nomine spirituales, re vero ipsa plus quam 
camaleSy plus quam seculares, nos esse conspiciant, Nomen Dei 
per nos blaspkemetur : pleros a Jide nostra Christiana propter 
mores nostros impuros discessere. Recessimus de via, scandali- 
semus plurimos, nihil mirum st, si dedit nos Deus contemptibiles.*' 
Epistola X. 1556. The same author says of a clergyman who 
had offices at the court : " Solet aula Deum sic colere, ne diabolum 



Poland, although still apparently Roman Ca- 
tholic, under the reign of Sigismund the First, 
evinced a strong and general desire to have the 
abuses of the church reformed by a general coun- 
cil, where all the sects which divided Christianity 
should be freely represented, considering, with 
great justice, such a council as the only means 
of pacifying the disturbed church. The king was 
particularly anxious to restore by the above- 
mentioned means the peace of his own country^ 
where the Protestant doctrines were making ra- 
pid progress ; and he recalled the delegates which 
he had commissioned to the Council of Trent, 
when it was transferred to Bologna in March 
1547, because the deputies of the Protestants 
could not safely go to the last-mentioned place. 
It would be foreign to our immediate subject to 
expatiate on the obstacles that Rome, being taught 
by the experience of the councils of Constance and 


Basil, which had destroyed its omnipotence, threw 
into the way of the convocation of an independent 
general council. The Polish clergy, however, 
threatened by an imminent danger from the rapid 
increase of the Protestants, were very anxious for 
the convocation of such a council. This opinion 
was also much supported by the leading reformers 
and by the most enlightened part of the nation, 
who, although very favourable to the doctrines of 
the reformation, were afraid of the violent com- 
motions which its introduction had caused in 
many parts of Europe. Nicolas Dzierzgowski, 
archbishop of Gnezno, and primate of Poland, 
whom we have already mentioned as a zealous 
Roman Catholic, and who would have employed 
the most severe measures against the Protestants 
if it had been in his power to do so, addressed a 
letter to Pope Paul the Third, in 1547, in the 
name of the synod of his province, in which he 
represented to him, in a submissive but decided 
manner, the necessity of a council in which all 
the opinions should obtain a hearing ; a demand 
which, it is superfluous to add, was not acceded to.* 

* The letter alluded to expresses, in a cautious but clear 
manner^ the necessity of admitting the deputies of a bordering 
country, id est, of Protestant Germany. "Sermones quorundam 
audiehantur^ quorum nonparva est in hoc regno authoritas, ne- 
quaquam se recepturoSy sique per nostros e concilia allataforent, 
nisi iUa ajinitimis quoque nobis populis recepta essenW* The 
same letter states the danger of the church in Poland : ^'Nostris 



Under the reign of Sigismund Augustus, when 
the influence of Protestantism became powerful 
in Poland, very many entertained the fond but 
delusive hope that it would be possible to 
reform the Roman Catholic church, instead of 
separating from it. It was this opinion which 
directed, at the diet of 1552, the choice of the 
deputies to be sent to the council of Trent. 
They were John Drohojowski, bishop of Vladi- 
slav, and James Uchanski, bishop of Chelm, two 
prelates whose Protestant opinions were well 
known Stanislas Tenczynski ,castellan of Leopol 
and M odrzewski, was to be the secretary of the 
legation, and direct all its operations.* It was 

cervidbus gravissima pericula in^pendere videntur : toUanturJidei 
et religionis dissidia^ a quibus nqstra provinda non esse prorsus 
immunis videtur, quod si scire posset sanctiias vestra^ quis est 
nunc rerum nostrarum status, quantum nobU propter vicinum 
malum metuendum sit. " The fear seemed to make the synod 
forgetful of the infallibility of the Pope : *' Neque enim inso^ 
litum, gubernatores in magnibus tempestatibus a vectoribus admo- 
nert/*— Letter of the archbishop of Gnezno in the name of the 
synod of Lowicz^ 1547, to Pope Paul the IIId«, Hosii Opera. 
Raynaldus^ ad an. 1547, f. 85. 

* At the synod of Piotrkow in 1557, the 17th May, Droho- 
jowski and Uchanski " monitifuerunt a sede apostolicd de suspec- 
tis in ecclesia dogmatibus. (Vide Starowolski^ Epitome Concilior.) 
Both those bishops were suspected of leaning to the doctrines 
of Calvin. (Uchanski.) "Tanta odiorum molegravatus a sui ordu 
nis hominibus propter ipsius pietatem raramque libertatem qua 
in catnitiis suis utitWy ui sublatum cupiunt, venenoque tollendum 
Judicent, ne quid amplius dicam" says Utenhovius, a contem- 


on that occasion that Modrzewski explained to 
the king the necessity of reforming the church, 
and the extent to which such a reformation 
should be carried. His proposals were of the most 
decisive nature, and could not be adopted 
without entirely destroying the whole structure 
of the Roman Catholic church. As they represent 
the opinion of many of the most enlightened 
persons of that time in Poland, we shall give our 
readers a summary exposition of them : 

" Religion is no longer secretly discussed, as it 
formerly was, but publicly debated in the na- 
tional assemblies," says Modrzewski, addressing 
the monarch. " We are now generally abandon- 
ing the doctrines of the church, which had 
hitherto been received, and we have assumed the 
right of establishing a religion. You resign 
to a general council the cognizance of such an 
important matter. Inspired by heaven, you have 
desisted from making use of your own authority 
and arbitrary power. The council must give to 
every one full liberty of speech, for we wish to be 
instructed and enlightened. We shall not permit 
our convictions to be silenced by human autho- 
rity. Men ought to be convinced by the word 

porary writer, apud Tricesii de Evangelii origine in Pohnia. 
The Pope wrote to the king of Poland in 1556 about Uchanski, 
describing him as ^'maxima haresis infamia laborantem,** Such 
were the delegates whom the Polish diet had chosen for the 
Council of Trent. 

• ' 


of God, and by argument, but not by persecution 
and bloodshed. What has created the dissentions 
in the church ? The corruption of manners and 
discipline ; neglect of the laws ; the perversion 
of the doctrines and of the ceremonies. The 
ancient and real Christians have disappeared, as 
well as the primitive purity and sanctity of the 
church. The first preachers of the Gospel were 
not numerous ; they were poor, not endowed with 
large estates, and being presecuted they converted 
the world. Now there is none who will preserve 
the truth of the doctrine and of the ceremonies 
established by Jesus Christ and the Apostles, 
and the consequence of that is a general and 
extreme corruption. Those who have possessed 
themselves of the lucrative dignities of the 
church have engaged in unworthy occupations. 
They have become fond of merry revels ; of rich 
dresses, precious stones, and large retinues. 
All their time is devoted to play and hunting. 
They have become enamoured of comfort, ease, 
and luxury. What is now the intellectual au- 
thority of the clergy ? The greatest part of them 
are ignorant of the scriptures ; some are given 
up to atheism ; they deride every thing that is 
holy. They have ceased to believe in religion ; 
they have rejected doctrines, and neglected ac- 
tions prescribed by God. They have appropriated 
to themselves villages, towns, castles, tithes, 
enormous incomes, and richly endowed states. 


They have founded their supremacy upon money, 
upon worldly connexions and assistance, and 
upon a luxurious life. They wish to rule only 
by force; and in order to maintain their authority, 
they have elevated their church, contrary to the 
precepts of Christ. They have appropriated to 
themselves exclusively the name of the church, 
and imposed on the people of God their laws and 
restrictions. But no religious community can be 
durable and maintain its unity, if its doctrines 
and actions are not founded on the pure word 
of God. It is therefore necessary that the lay- 
men should be also admitted to the discussion 
about the principle of faith, because, as Gerson 
says : * The council is the assembly of all the 
states of the church, and excludes none who 
believe. Theprinciple of faith must be decided 
by all, in order that they should know what 
is to be believed. Is it not a duty of the com- 
munity to investigate whether its pastor expounds 
a falsified doctrine, and to avoid false prophets, 
and the perversity of the Pharisees V 

"The general council will restore peace to 
Christendom, but it must be independent and 
properly composed. It will abolish the pro- 
fligacy of the clergy, and the abuses of the 
popular authority. On the synod every man 
and every party must have an uncontrolled 
liberty of speech, even against existing order 
and established customs, because the church 


never has been and is not now infallible. Being 
a human assembly, it could err, it has erred, and 
it may still err. 

" The bishops should convoke the clergy and 
the population of their dioceses. They must not 
restrict by any ancient laws the deliberations 
of the Christian people. Every member of the 
church must expose his conviction. Faith, being 
common to all the members of the church, must 
be determined by them all, or by an assembly of 
all the faithful. The church itself should statute 
the rules of belief. The general council must 
learn from the synods of the dioceses the con- 
victions of the Christians, and according to that it 
must form its decisions. The population of the 
dioceses ought to choose their delegates for the 
deliberations of the general council ; such a 
council alone will truly and legally represent the 
universal Christian church. Christians of every 
denomination must be without any difference 
represented at that council. The Armenians, 
Greeks, and other sects, are they not also Chris- 
tians ? The Latin church alone is not a complete 
church, and it will not restore by itself unity to 
Christendom, when all its sections are not duly 

" The general council should not be composed 
exclusively of bishops. Why should the laymen, 
who form a part of the church, be prohibited 
from judging matters relating to their own sal- 


vation ? A bishop does not possess the neces- 
sary qualification for defining the doctrines by 
the mere fact of his being a bishop. The only 
titles which give authority to decide on that 
important matter are learning and virtue. The 
direction of the council must be entrusted to 
virtuous and learned men, and not to such as 
have nothing to recommend them but office. 

" It is not true that the bishops alone have the 
power of expounding the Gospel. All those who 
have retained only the name and the income of a 
bishop, without possessing his moral qualifications, 
should retire from the council. It is impossible 
to renew the ancient custom of setting up fire 
and sword against truth and conscience. Formerly 
the nations Were kept in subjection by the 
bishops, and obeyed all their commands. They 
were insulted without daring to complain, and 
even addressed thanks for the injuries they had 
received. It is therefore just and right to eject 
from the church the pride and despotism of its 
rulers. The government of the church must be 
entrusted neither to one nor to all, but to the 
most learned and virtuous, even if they were not 
invested with the sacerdotal d^nity. Every 
church and its people will send their representa- 
tives to the council, because the people have also 
their just griefs against the clergy and against their 
rulers. It is indeed a very preposterous regula- 
tion, which deprives of influence and office even 


the most enlightened men, if they do not belong ta 
the class of the nobles ; all members' of the com- 
munity should have equal rights. All the rulers 
of the church have been infected by an unpar- 
donable pride and luxury. The people have 
been despised, and the poor entirely neglected ; 
although only a madman could suppose that God 
has created mankind for the use of its rulers. 
The council vvrill choose the judges who are to 
determine a universal creed ; no difference of 
religious opinion must exclude from that mission, 
because the reformers and antagonists of Rome 
are also Christians. If the Pope was infallible, 
and superior to the council and to all the 
churches of Christendom, of what use would it 
be to convoke a council? It is well known 
that they have erred against faith ; and Pope 
Adrian himself acknowledged, in 1522, that the 
church and its dignitaries were in the utmost 
state of corruption. How can a guilty clergy, 
being accused, decide against themselves, abolish 
their own profitable usurpation, and destroy their 
own authority? 

"The renovation of the church must be entrusted 
to the church itself, i. e. to all Christendom, to 
uU believers. How did the church till now an- 
swer to all the pious complaints against its cor- 
ruption? By persecution and cruelties. The 
mind cannot be changed but by argument, because 
religion is but a spirit. 


"The present mode of administering the church 
must be changed. One person should not pos- 
sess several dignities, which ought to be granted 
only to virtue and ability. The church must not 
feed idlers with its riches. One clergyman is suffi- 
cient for one church. The rule over the people 
must be entrusted to intellectual superiority, and 
not to that of birth or fortune. The kingdom of 
Christ must be supported by the same means by 
which it was raised. The disciples of our Sa- 
viour, without being either rich or noble, have 
converted mankind. In our country, the nobles 
invested with the dignities of the church enjoy 
their possessions, but have no learning. They 
consider it a mean occupation to devote them- 
selves to intellectual pursuits, and have left to 
their inferiors the duty of teaching. They occupy 
the first places, and govern, although birth without 
merit is nothing. But if the nobles have appro- 
priated to themselves the dignities and the riches 
of the church, they ought also to fulfil the duties, 
to teach, to prophetize, and to tend the flock of 
Christ ; but they have accepted only the enjoy- 
ments, and they have rejected the duties. Such 
abuses are highly injurious to religion as well as 
to the state. The people, contemned and degraded, 
lose the sense of their own dignity ; the ruling 
class, being corrupted, attach little value to the 
fulfilment of the duties of a Christian magistrate. 
We try by oaths and documents the test of nobility, 



which is an innovation unknown to our ances- 
tors,* and we do not even ask about virtue 
and learning. This leads to pride and luxury, 
which degrade the sanctity of religion; it is 
therefore necessary to introduce another system. 
Those who are adorned by virtues are real nobles, 
if even they were of the meanest origin ; they are 
fit to possess all the dignities of the nobles, 
because they have all that constitutes a real 
nobility ; but now, when all the cathedrals of the 
church are exclusively occupied by nobles, it is 
even dangerous to propose that the dignities of 
the church should be granted without any regard 
to birth. The exclusion of the lower classes from 
preferment is indeed the greatest abuse and in- 

^^ A bishop should be elected by all the faithful 
of the diocese in the following manner : — Every 
class, the magistrates, the nobles, the burghers, 
and the peasants (for it is unjust to exclude the 
peasants from a share in the public afiairs), should 
choose each three representatives ; the clergy will 
also send twelve of its members. These twenty- 
four delegates vnll take an oath before the deputy 
of the monarch, that they will elect only such as 
are qualified by their virtues, learning, and sanc- 

* This alludes to the preposterous enactment of 1515, which 
excluded all those who did not belong to noble families from 
preferment to the higher dignities of the church. 


tity of life, and that their choice will not be influ- 
enced by any worldly motives ; and they must 
act accordingly. All the clergy should be equa- 
lized, because the superiority of the bishops was 
established only by custom, and not by Jesus 
Christ, who did not grant priority to any of the 
apostles. Such a system will restore to the church 
its purity and independence, and will pacify its 
troubles. In order to restore peace to the church, 
and establish a unity of faith and discipline 
over all Christendom, it is not sufficient to write 
sentences, to promulgate decrees, to judge and 
excommunicate. The church and the Christian 
people do not exist for the use of the king and of 
the bishops ; on the contrary, the kings were esta- 
blished for the benefit of the people, and the 
bishops for that of the church. The kings must 
therefore watch over the advantages of the chil- 
dren of God, but they must leave to the church 
itself the election of the bishops, whom they 
actually nominate themselves, * because no autho- 
rity has the right despotically to rule the church. 
" The dignity of the Pope, which maintains the 
unity of the church, ought to be retained ; but the 
mode of his election should be totally changed, 
because otherwise despotism and an unbridled 
passion of power will never be expelled from the 

* We have already stated, in the first part of this work, 
that the kings of Poland nominated the bishops. 

Q 2 


church. The Pope must not be elected either 
by one nation, or by one church, or by one sec- 
tion of the Christian community, as it is now 
done: the Pope, being the chief of all Chris- 
tians, must be elected by all Christendom ; every 
nation must have an equal right and equal influ- 
ence in his election. A hierarchy is necessary, 
in order to maintain a unity amongst all the 
members of the church of Christ; but not a hierar- 
chy of superiority. Each clergyman possessing 
an equal mission to teach, to baptize, to perform 
sacrifice, to bind and to unbind, there is no dif- 
ference in that respect between the most inferior 
clergyman and the Pope himself. Such a hierar- 
chy has not been authorized by Christ, it has not 
been ordered by the Gospels, it has not been 
established by the primitive church; it would 
therefore perhaps be more expedient to abolish 
episcopacy, and that the Pope should preside 
over the rulers of the churches. 

** The Pope should retain only such attributes of 
his authority as are useful and indispensable for the 
benefit of the church : he should execute the laws, 
and watch over the maintenance of discipline ; 
but he must not have judicial authority over the 
churches. Each nation should have its own inde- 
pendent church, and its own independent and final 
jurisdiction, that they may not appeal to Rome. The 
Pope cannot be infallible, and must be subject 
to the council, which truly represents the whole of 


Christendom. The Pope must have nothing to 
do with the political relations of different states. 
The Papal see being the centre of the Christian 
unity, may be established any where. The Pope 
will be elected only for a year, and never for his 
life-time. A frequent change of Popes will not 
destroy the unity of the Papacy. If the Pope 
would resume the ancient abuses, he will be 
checked by the council, which is to assemble 
every two years. Each province of a synod will 
nominate two persons, who will by turns occupy 
the Papal see. Every Pope will be judged after 
the termination of his office by his successor, who 
will strictly investigate his conduct, and punish 
him if he is found guilty. The council will 
nominate the Pope's ministers, who cannot be 
dismissed by him. Papacy circumscribed within 
such limits, will fulfil its mission much better 
than it does now.* 

" Every separate church should have its pro- 
phets, evangelists, pastors, and presbyters ; but 
the office of teaching is hot to be exclusively 
vested in the presbyters. 

"Every one may speak, prophetize, and in- 
vestigate divine subjects, when he feels that he 
has an interior vocation to do it. Every church 
should choose its own government and autho- 

* Modrzewski was excommunicated particularly on account 
of his proposition to submit the Pope to the council, and the 
council to the whole of Christendom. 


rities. If the congregation was able to elect the 
best qualified, the present condition of the church 
would be much improved by it ; places destined 
to teachers and apostles would not be then given 
to nobles, who occupy now every dignity, whether 
they be able or not to fulfil its duties, provided 
they have a coat of arms. The duty of the 
evangelist should be to preach, to instruct, and to 
expound the Gospels ; that of the pastors should 
be to administer sacraments, to watch over the 
morals of the congregation, and to inflict spiritual 
penalties on those who lead a vicious life. The 
actual pastors have forgotten their real duties ; 
they are fit only to shear the wool of their flock, 
but not to watch over its welfare. The dignity 
of the bishop, which was formerly equal to that of 
the presbyter, has now changed its primitive 
destination, and perverted its real duties. The 
bishops have thrown on the parish priests all the 
burdens of their vocation, and retained only the 
riches and honours attached to it : they enjoy the 
possession of villages and towns, of small and 
great tithes ; they only occupy prominent places 
in the councils of the state, but the care of souls, 
and that of religious instruction, they consider a 
subject of minor importance, leaving them to 
some inferior and insignificant persons. The 
scriptures must be the only rule of faith, because 
they are sure and true, unerring and unable 
to err, comprehending the chief and indispensable 


principles of salvation. The word of God must 
be placed above the church, and above all au- 
thority that has been created. That which cannot 
be conceived by human reason, must, however, 
be believed. Tradition being a human explication, 
cannot be binding : the church could not finally 
decide how the holy writ should be understood 
and explained. The scriptures should be ex- 
plained by the scriptures themselves ; the places 
whose meaning is uncertain should be explained 
by such passages the sense of which is clear and 
certain. The church being founded on the scrip- 
tures, cannot develop or modify its own origin by 
introducing things which have not been autho- 
rized by Jesus Christ, and were unknown to the 
first disciples. The church preserves only the 
word of God, but has no right to its arbitrary 
explication. Augustinus himself acknowledged 
that the Gospel alone was infallible, and he 
founded on it his arguments. He acknowledged 
the authority of the synods and Fathers, but he 
placed them below the precepts of Jesus Christ 

" The discussion about the real meaning of the 
Eucharist is unnecessary, and more fit to disturb 
than to edify the church of God. It is much 
better to believe the words of God, which express 
that we receive his body and blood, than to 
begin subtile researches about the nature of 
receiving them : it is rather necessary to avoid 


such questions, as being unfit to give any comfort 
or hope to the troubled spirit. It is quite 
sufficient for our salvation to believe that we are 
receiving the body and blood of our Saviour with 
the lips of the spirit, and not with those of the 
body. The communion of two kinds should be 
administered to all Christian people. The auri- 
cular confession which is established by the 
Roman church is not injurious ; but it is very 
doubtful whether it may be considered as a 
sacrament, and as a condition necessary for our 
salvation, and therefore it ought not to be made 
obligatory. Confession serves to give a better 
knowledge of religion to those who are igno- 
rant ; it enlightens the consciences of men, and 
strengthens the discipline of the church. The 
worship of the saints should be limited. Eminent 
persons deserve respect during their life-time, and 
a pious remembrance after their death ; but can 
the mediation of saints be of any use? But, 
although neither the Old or the New Testament, 
have even recommended the worship of saints, 
as mediators between man and God, no person's 
liberty in that respect should be circumscribed. 
The baptism of infants is allowable, and the 
promise of their godfathers is necessary ; but the 
baptized children must, on becoming adults, 
confirm their baptism by taking a solemn obli- 
gation of respecting and following the precepts 
of the Gospel. Matrimony should be allowed 


to the priests, and the worship should be per- 
formed in the national language." 

Such were the principal ideas about the reform 
of the church which Modrzewski proposed to the 
king, and which represent the opinions enter- 
tained on that important subject by many 
enlightened persons in Poland.* The admi- 
nistration of the church which he proposed to 
introduce was evidently modelled after the po- 
litical institutions of Poland, where the greatest 
part of public offices were elective. 

The chief objection to his plan was its utter 
impracticability, and it could be no more ap- 
plied to the spiritual government of Chris- 
tendom, than the Utopia of Sir Thomas More 
could be adapted to its political affairs. There 
is also a chilling spirit of indifference, in dis- 
cussing some important matters, incompatible 
with that energy of action indispensable to the 
introduction of important reforms either in 
church or state ; an energy which is derived only 
from an intimate conviction of the principles we 

♦ '' Ea pro ingenii meo JacuUate, muUorum consiliis in suf- 
fragium adhibitis ostendi" says Modrzewski. The Roman 
Catholic clergy strongly dissuaded the publication of those 
ideas : " non nulli vereniur ne operis nostri editume aliquid 
religioni vulnus infligeretur ; nihil novi nos unquam molitos ne 
quidquam in re Christiana definite voluisse^ sed ea proposuisse 
qua in divinis scripturis et apud prohatissivfios scriptores 


are axivocating, but which may be possessed only 
by a true believer, and will never be the lot of 
those philosophical dabblers in religion and 
politics, who are generally as timid in action as 
they are bold in speculation. The work of Mo- 
drzewski is, however, very precious, on account 
of its giving a fair idea of the opinions which 
prevailed in the council of Sigismund Augustus, 
and in the mind of that monarch. It is perhaps 
by these vacillating opinions on religious matters 
that the conduct of Sigismund Augustus may be 
explained, and why that monarch, although evi- 
dently leaning to the Protestant doctrines, had not 
openly abandoned the Roman Catholic church. 

These principles which we have now developed, 
however impracticable, would have certainly pro- 
duced an extraordinary sensation on the council 
of Trent, being presented by a deputation osten- 
sibly Roman Catholic. The intended legation did 
not, however, take place, as the treaty of Passau 
in 1552, and soon afterwards the abdication of 
Charles the Fifth, suspended for some time the 
operations of the above-mentioned council. 

The dangers which threatened the Roman Ca- 
tholic church in Poland meanwhile grew everyday 
more pressing. The Protestant synod of Kozmin 
of 1 555 effected a union between the Bohemian 
Brethren and the Genevese church of Poland, by 
which a considerable strength was added to the 
Protestant party. The Roman Catholic church. 


having no longer the right of punishing heretics, 
felt its weakness, and was not adverse to a 
national synod, which would introduce consi- 
derable reforms into the church, provided it 
would preserve its fundamental doctrines and 
hierarchy.* The king, instead of giving any 
material assistance to the Roman clergy, advised 
them to defend their cause by argument, notby 
force.t Francis Krasinski, who, in spite of having 
been a pupil of Melancthon, possessed the dignity 
of the archdeacon of Calish, and who afterwards, 
when bishop of Cracow, excited a strong sus- 
picion of heresy, made some representations 

* Protestant opinions, or at least the necessity of a reform, 
seem to have been working in the minds of many bishops at 
that time. '^ Omnimodo anni terentur episcopos senaiu moverey qui 
Jam conversatione sacularium alliati, graviter in religione nutare 
coeperunt hereticis, connihant et cannivebatU, et nonnulli prorsus 
Jam ad Lutheranismum discederunt pemiciosis eorum dogmaiibus 
pertractiy* 1555,Janocki. Stanislaus Karnkowski, who became 
afterwards archbishop of Gnezno, expounded^ in 1550, when 
bishop of Cujavia^ to his brother, to Modrzewski^ and several 
other friends, the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians in a manner 
contrary to the Roman Catholic dogma : ** Mirabar novum 
dogma de Christo et kominum credentium in ipso JustifiaUione ;*' 
apud Wengierski. 

t The king addressed Hosius in the following words : '^ Hac 
ratio plurimum probatur, prius ut homines doceuntur, quam 
aliquid in eos durius consulatur. Et vellem ut Jerre (sic) 
synodus provineialisj ad quern vocarentur etiam sectarii" Hosii 
Epistolse, 78. 


to that effect in 1555-6, which were couched in 
language of a rather doubtful orthodoxy. Dzierz- 
gowski, archbishop of Gnezno, wished also to 
convoke a national independent synod, in order 
to pacify the religious dissensions in Poland. It 
is impossible positively to assert whether the 
Roman Catholic clergy of Poland had any true 
intentions of introducing into the doctrine and 
discipline of their church some real reforms, and 
whether they intended to grant a hearing to the 
demands of their antagonists ; there are, however, 
some good reasons for supposing that the above- 
mentioned intentions were entertained, at least by 
a part of the clergy, as the project of such a 
synod awakened the fears of the Roman see and 
of some of its most zealous adherents.* 

There were indeed good reasons for the Pope 
to oppose a similar measure, because the convo- 
cation of a purely Roman Catholic synod would 
have been of no use whatever in arresting the 
progress of the Reformation, whilst a synod, to 
the deliberations of which the Protestants were 
admitted, would undoubtedly lead to the over- 
throw of Romanism in Poland. It was therefore 
natural and consequent that Rome refused to 
grant its assent to the convocation of a national 

• Hosius declared that he would never join the intended 
synods knowing that heretics would be admitted at its delibe- 


Polish synod, promising to settle the affairs of 
the Polish church at a general council. Indeed, 
the wisest policy that Romanism could then 
adopt in Poland was to remain in a state of 
immobility, because an attempt at amending the 
corrupted state of its church would lead to the 
total dissolution of its rotten frame, whilst the 
Protestant party, full of vigour and energy, natu- 
rally burned to come into collision with its su- 
perannuated antagonist. 

The Diet of 1552 had expressed a wish to see 
the differences which had arisen between the 
established church and a great part of the nation 
settled by the convocation of a national synod. 
The violent discussions which occupied the Diet 
on the subject of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
postponed for some time that important question, 
which was again revived at the Diet of Piotrkow 
in 1556. The chamber of nuncios, or house of 
commons, represented to the king the necessity 
of convoking a national synod, composed of all 
religious parties, which, being presided over by the 
king himself, should reform the church by adopt- 
ing the Holy Scriptures as the only basis of that 
reform. Not only were the representatives of 
all the religious sects of Poland to be admitted to 
the deliberations of that synod, on equal terms 
with the Roman Catholic clergy, but it was even 
proposed to invite the most eminent reformers of 
Europe, such as Calvin, Beza, Melancthon, and 


Vergerius, who was at that time in Poland.* 
But the greatest hopes for introducing a reforma- 
tion of the established church were placed on 
John Laskiy or Alasco. As this eminent indivi- 
dual has taken such a prominent part in advanc- 
ing the great work of reformation in this country 
as well as in his own, we shall devote the follow- 
ing chapter to a sketch of his life and labours. 




Birth and pa- ^HE family of Laski ranks among the noblest 
Laakn* ^^ ^^ Poland, and is remarkable for having produced 

during the sixteenth century many eminent indivi- 
duals, who have rendered their names illustrious 
in the church, in the council, and in the camp. 
John Laski, archbishop of Gnezno, primate of the 
realm and legate of the Roman see, distinguished 
himself as grand chancellor of Poland, in having 
been the first who collected all the laws of that 

♦ Vide Wengierski, Friese's Beytr&ge zur Reformations 
Geschichte in Polen^ vol. ii. 


country. His collection, published in 1506, was 
confirmed by the king and the Diet, and it is well 
known under the name of the Statutes of Laski.* 
Having been sent by Sigismund the First to the 
council of Lateran in 1513, he obtained from Pope 
Leo the Tenth, for himself and his successors, the 
archbishops of Gnezno, the title and privileges of 
Legati nati apostoliae sedis. Although himself 
not a learned man, he was a great patron and 
promoter of learning. He made himself conspi- 
cuous also by being chiefly instrumental in the 
enactment of that preposterous law by which the 
non-nobles were excluded from preferment to the 
higher dignities of the church. Laski was much 
opposed to the nascent reformation, against which 
he proclaimed many decrees. His Roman Ca- 
tholic orthodoxy did not, however, prevent him 
from zealously assisting the cause of John Za- 
polya, king of Hungary, against Ferdinand of 
Austria. The cause of Zapolya was eagerly pro- 
moted by Jaroslaf, or Hieroslaus Laski, nephew 
of the archbishop, who was an avowed Protestant. 
The archbishop furnished his nephew with money 
and other necessary means for promoting his de- 
signs against the Austrians, and it was he who 
advised him to seek the assistance of Soliman 
the Great, emperor of Turkey, against that power. 

* Its title is : — Commune PoUmiiS Regni Privilegiunif Con" 
stitutvonum^ et Indaliuum, 1506 ; Cracow^ in folio. 


Ferdinand of Austria complained to Pope Cle- 
ment the Seventh of the intrigues of the arch- 
bishop, and presented proofs of his having ad vised 
to call in the Turks against Austria. The Pope 
excommunicated the archbishop, calling him in 
his bull an arch-devil; but Laski contrived by 
some means to set aside that bull, and remained 
in undisturbed possession of his dignity until his 
death, 19th May 1531.* Jaroslaf Laski, nephew 
to the archbishop, palatine of Sieradz, was cer- 
tainly one of the most remarkable men of the 
sixteenth century, by his great talents, by his 
relations with the most eminent individuals of 
his time, and by the prominent part which he 
took in several great events. After the death of 
Lewis Jaguellon, king of Hungary, killed at the 
battle of Mohac in 1525, the national party elect- 
ed monarch John Zapolya, wojewode of Transyl- 
vania ;who was, however, unable to maintain 
his ground against Ferdinand of Austria, elected 
by an opposite party, and supported by all the 
power of his brother, the emperor Charles V. 
Zapolya was obliged to retire to Poland, where 
king Sigismund the First granted him a free 
asylum, but no assistance against his enemy. It 

• We have extracted these details from Priese's Beytrage 
zur Reformations Geschichte in Polen, vol. ii. page 274, who 
gives them on the authority of Peter Toniecki's, (bishop of 
Cracow^) EpistoUe tome viii.> and the Acta literaria Regni 
PohfiUBf 1535, tome ii. pages 17, 18. 


was there that Jaroslaf Laski proposed to Zapolya 
the daring project, which, as we have already said, 
had been suggested by his uncle, to arm Soliman 
against the Germans, and to defend the liberties 
of Hungary with the swords of the Mussulmans. 
It is supposed that king Sigismund the First, who 
could not be favourable to the extension of the 
Austrian power, which was enslaving Hungary 
and Bohemia, so recently possessed by his family, 
secretly countenanced that project. Zapolya gave 
unlimited powers to Laski, and promised him 
the sovereignty of Transylvania. Laski arrived at 
Constantinople on the 20th December 1527, and 
his negociations were so successful, that two 
months afterwards, on the 20th February 1528, 
a treaty of alliance against Austria was signed, 
and soon afterwards the forces of the Ottoman 
empire were in full march to open a campaign, 
which is particularly memorable on account of 
the siege of Vienna, and the expulsion of the 
Austrians from Hungary.* 

* The fortunes of that celebrated individual are no longer 
connected with those of his brother John^ who is the subject of 
our present chapter^ since the nomination of the latter to the 
bishopric of Wesprin; we shall, therefore^ only briefly mention 
the most important circumstances of his eventful life. After the 
establishment of Zapolya on the throne of Hungary, Laski 
naturally enjoyed the high favour of that monarchy and was 
entrusted with the most important offices. He acted as his 
ambassador at Cracow in 1530^ in France in 1531^ and at the 

VOL. I. R Germanic 


The high hopes of elevation which the family 
of Laski had conceived at that time were frus- 
trated by subsequent events ; but Jaroslav, who 

Germanic Diet in 1532. Zapolya, however, forgot what he owed 
to Laski^ or perhaps he could not bear to owe him so much. 
Laski was accused of dangerous machinations^ and arrested^ 
although treated with every consideration due to his high rank 
in the castle where he was confined. The Polish senate 
remonstrated against the violence offered to one of its members 
in the person of Laski. Francis the First of France wrote 
also to Zapolya in his favour. Laski was at last released^ 
chiefly by the efforts of John Tamowski (vide note of page 
168) and Andreas Tenczynski^ castellan of Cracow ; his 
innocence was solemnly proclaimed by royal letters-patent, and 
he received as an indemnity (or rather a mortgage for the sums 
he had expended for the service of Zapolya) the towns of 
Kesmark and Debreczyn. This transaction is described in a 
letter of Peter Tomicki, bishop of Cracow^ addressed to Eras« 
mus April 20, 1535. The haughty mind of Laski would not, 
however, be reconciled with a justice reluctantly wrung from a 
monarch who owed to him the throne : he left the service of 
Zapolya, and giving way to his resentment, he resolved to undo 
his own work by depriving Zapolya of the Hungarian crown. 
He repaired, therefore, to his antagonist Ferdinand of Austria^ 
who received with open arms such a valuable ally as Laski. 
In 1540, when Ferdinand was assembling an army for recon- 
quering Hungary, Laski went as his ambassador to Constanti- 
nople^ in order to prevent Solyman from giving assistance to 
Zapolya. Laski's appearance at the Ottoman court in a 
capacity diametrically opposed to that in which he had acted 
twelve years ago, excited the anger and suspicion of the Sultan, 
who ordered him to be imprisoned. His life was even for some 
time in danger : but he succeeded in disarming the Sultan's 
anger, and received presents as a mark of the monarch's favour. 



was at that time most influential in Hungary, 
provided for his brother John Laski, the subject 
of our present notice, in 1529, the bishopric of 

This was the last event of Laski's agiteted career. He fell 
dangerously ill at Constantinople, and having returned to his na- 
tive land in 1542, he died from the effects of this illness, which 
was strongly suspected to have originated from poison. Jaros- 
lav Laski was certainly one of the most accomplished noblemen 
of his time, and equally skilled in all that related to war and 
politics, his talents and acquirements having been improved by 
extensive travels. Paul Jovius gives the following judgment 
of him : ^* Ingenium suum in omni actione rerum humanarum 
valde mirificumy excelso solertique ingenio^ gravissimarum rerum 
consilia agitare, atque apte terminare, solitus, belli pacisque 
artihus ahunde instructus, noverat regum omnium ingenia^ 
moresque gentium quum totum pene terrarum arbem regiasque 
percurrisset,* (P. Jovius Historiarum Lutetias, 1558.) Erasmus, 
who extolled him with great praises, dedicated to him his little 
work, " Modus orandi Deum" Melancthon wrote a work on 
Laski with which we are not acquainted, but which must have 
been favourable to him, considering the great regard which 
Melancthon entertained for his brother, John Laski, the 
reformer. Andreas Modrzewski introduced Jaroslav Laski as an 
interlocutor in his dialogue ^' De Homicidiis puniendis'* Laski 
has left a narrative of his embassy to Constantinople in 1527. 

Stanislav Laski, brother to Jaroslav and John, rendered 
himself conspicuous by his long residence at the court of 
France, where he gained the favour of king Francis the First, 
who created him eques auratus. He accompanied that monarch 
to the battle of Pavia, and shared with him the misfortunes of 
captivity. This occurrence is described in a work entitled 
** De Gallo ad Ticinum capto ad S. A. Lasco/* which is 
mentioned by Janocki. Stanislav Laski returned afterwards to 
his own country, where he was successively invested with the 

R 2 ^^^^ 


Vesprin. Laski was at that time thirty years old, 
being bom in 1499. Having been destined from his 
boyhood to the ecclesiastical state, he received 
the best education which it was possible for his 
country to afford. He afterwards visited Ger- 
many, Italy, France, and Belgium, and became 
acquainted with many eminent scholars of that 
time. In 1524 he was introduced in Switzer- 
land to Zuinglius, who sowed the first doubt in 
his mind about the orthodoxy of the Roman 
church. He spent the year 1525 with Erasmus, 

fn*st dignities of the state. Albert Laski, son of Jaroslav^ and 
nephew of the reformer^ who was palatine of Sieradz^ and 
afterwards that of Sendomir^ chiefly contributed to the election 
of Henri of Valois ( the third of France ) to the throne of 
Poland^ and was one of the delegates who went to France in 
order announce to the new monarch his elevation to the 
sovereignty of Poland. After the deposition of Henry, who 
having become king of France after the death of his brother 
Charles the Ninth, had secretly left Poland, Albert Laski voted 
for Maximilian of Austria. In 1583 he visited England, where 
queen Elizabeth received him with great distinction. The 
honours which were shown to him during his visit at Oxford, 
by the especial command of the queen, were equal to those 
rendered to sovereign princes; (vide Wood's History and 
Antiquities of Oxford, English translation, vol. ii. page 215- 
218). Having become a Roman Catholic about 1569, he 
promoted the schemes of Cardinal Commendoni, who was sent 
by the Pope to counteract in Poland the Protestant party. (Vide 
*< Vie de Commandoni par Gratiani.**) His extraordinary prodi- 
gality rendered his enormous wealth insufficient to defray his 
expenses, he therefore became a zealous adept in alchemy, and he 
took from England to Poland, with him, two known alchymists. 


in whose house he lived, and with whom he was 
on the most intimate terms of friendship. The 
regard which Erasmus entertained for Laski bor- ^as^is con- 

^ nexion with 

dered on enthusiasm.* Laski was fully alive to Erasmus. 

* Erasmus speaks of Laski^ in his letters^ in the following 
manner : *^Hic Joannes a Lasco, Polonus illustri loco natus, apud 
suos brevique summusfuturus, morihus est plane niveis, nihil ma^ 
gis aureum ac gemmeum esse potest,** (Epist. ad B. Egnatio, 5th 
October 1525.) ** Senex^ juvenis convictujactus sum melior, ac 
sobrietatem, temperantiam, verecundiam, linguce moderationemy 
modestiam, pudicitiam, integritatem, quam juvenis a sene discere 
debuerat, ajuvene senex didiciJ* (Epist. to J. Laski^ archbishop 
of Gnezno, August 1527.) ^* Ego vero mi Joannes, nimis impu- 
densjuero, sijuvenem summis natum rebus, etjam nunc nuUo non 
doctrince genere we superior em, potior credi me discipulum : sed 
tamen homo sim insigniter ingratuSf si tarn amantem, tam constan- 
iemy tam candidum patronum, patior oblivionis tenebris obliterari" 
(Epist. ad J. Laski^ 16th June 1527.) '' Joannis a Lasco tale 
sum expertus ingenium, quotidieque experior, ut vel hoc uno amico 
videarsat beatus" (Epist. ad Leonardum Coxum Anglum, June 
12th, 1527.) This Leonard Cox, an Englishman bom, was 
professor of eloquence at the University of Cracow, and is parti- 
cularly remarkable for having been the first who established in 
Poland a literary periodical, which he published under the 
title of Ephemeridce, The generosity with which Laski con- 
tributed to the house-keeping of Erasmus is acknowledged by 
him in the following words, contained in a letter which he 
addressed to Laski in March 1526 : ^^ Si iibi felidter ccepit 
tua demigratio, clarissime comes, est prqfecto, cur levius doleam, 
Mihi sane tuus abitus^ muUis nominibus fuit infelix : ut 
enim reliqua taceam, mensibus aliquot mihi sudandum erat, ut 
damum hanCf tua magni/icentia corruptum, ad pristinam Jru^ 
galitatem revocarem. Deinde totum pene autumnum et hyemem^ 
cum calcuh mihi fuit colluctandum> His quasi parum esset, 



the friendship of Erasmus, which he repaid by 
his esteem, and by administering to his wants 
with all the liberality of a Polish grandee of that 

tantum molestiarum aliunde accessU, ut facile senserim^ genium 
meutn honum abesse,'* Sfc, Vide also Jortin's Life of Erasmus^ 
vol. i. page 379. Although Laski, during his residence with 
Erasmus, was only twenty-six years old, he was already favour- 
ably known to the most eminent persons of Europe^ as is 
evident from the letter of Erasmus addressed to Margaretta 
queen of Navarre^ sister to Francis the First of France, on occasion 
of the defeat and capture of her royal brother, at the battle of 
Pavia. He speaks in that letter of those which that queen address- 
ed to John Laski^ who was then living at his house. Afler 
having enumerated several reasons for expecting a more favour- 
able turn of affairs^ he says : ^< Coftfirmarunt hanc spent meam 
literiB celsitudinis ttus, quas ad illustrem Polonia Baronem Joan- 
nem a Lasco miseras in Hispaniam adomans prqfectionem. Nam 
is enim in meis eedihtts vivit, qui cum mihi jure amicitia omnia* 
Declarabant enim te non solum infracto animo fatorum ini» 
quitatem, verum etiam verbis quibusdam bene ominantibus 
recreabant solicitudinem nostram** (Epist. ad Margaritam 
Reginam Navarrs, pridie Michaelis 1525.) The tenor of the 
queen's letters^ to which Erasmus alludes, shows the great 
regard which she entertained for Laski, to whom she seems to 
have expressed the feelings which actuated her mind on that 
trying occasion. It is very likely that Laski's acquaintance 
with the queen of Navarre was commenced by the instrumen- 
tality of his brother Stanislav, who, as we have already men- 
tioned in the note of page 243, was in great favour with her 
brother. Laski offered afterwards a hundred pieces of gold to 
Frobenius and Episcopius, in order to assist them in publish- 
ing the works of Erasmus. Vide Jortin's Life of Erasmus, 
vol, i. page 577. 


time. He purchased the library of Erasmus, but 
left to him its use during his life-time.* 

It was from Erasmus that Laski has probably 
derived that great mildness and suavity by which 
all his proceedings, notwithstanding their strength 
of purpose, were characterized. Laski returned 
to his native land in 1526, with a strong bias for 

• The price which Laski gave Erasmus for his library was 
three hundred golden crowns, half of which sum was paid at th^ 
signature of the contract, and the other after Erasmus's 
death. The contract of the sale is couched in the fol- 
lowing terms : ** Erasmus Roterodamus bibliotkecam meam 
universam vendidi clarissimo PokmuB Baroni Joanni a Lasco 
trecentis coronatis aureis, hac lege, ut quoad vixero, usus 
lihrorum, ex amicituB jure, sit Hit mecum communis, pro- 
prietas solum penes ilium sit perpetua ; quod jus transihit 
etiam in illius fusredes, si, quod Deus avertat, contingat 
ilium prius ex humanis decedere. Interim indicem librorum, ve- 
lut arrobonem traditionis habet. Quidquid interim accreverit, 
et hoc illius erit, nisi si quos codices manuscriptos magno conti^ 
gerit emere. In his, ex utriusque consensu, Jlat moderatio novi 
contractus, duntaxat quod attinebit ad illam accessionem. In 
cujus rei Jldem dictus Erasmus hoc ckirographum mea manu 
descripsi, affixo peculiari annuli mei signo termino. anno 1525, 
duodecimo calendas Julius. Dimidium pretii numeratnm est 
Basilus 1525, aUerum pretii dimidium postridie Martii, an. 1535 
persoltUum est. Bonifacius Amerbachius nuncupatus income 
parabilis D. Erasmi Roterodami fueres mea manu attestor, et ego 
Joannes a Lasco prtedicta manu mea subscriptione Jateor esse 
verum" (Vide Jorton's Life of Erasmus, vol. i. page 625.) Some 
of the books belonging to that collection were given to the 
library of Emden by Laski^ (ibid. vol. ii. page 486.) 

248 SKETCH OF the 

the doctrines of the Reformation, although he 
ostensibly remained in the communion of Rome, 
He was successively nominated canon of Gnezno, 
custos of Plock, and dean of Gnezno and Lowicz ; 
he received those dignities, still entertaining the 
hope that it would be possible to reform the 
church of Rome without seceding from its obedi- 
ence, and it was in accordance with that opinion 
that Erasmus was induced by him to present to 
the Polish monarch, although in a very cautious 
manner, the necessity of some reforms in the Ro- 
man hierarchy.* 

We have already mentioned, that he was 
created by the influence of his brother Jaroslaf, 

* '< Utraque pars, tit habet qtuedam non aspertianda, ita mixti 
sunt etiam Ulis, qui sub ecchsuB vexillis militare videntur^ quos 
apparet victoriam, Christo debitam ad se rapturos, nisi summorum 
principum auctoritas^ et iUorum insanos tumuUos coercerat et ra- 
pinam prohibeat. Ita fieri potest ut ex hoc amaro pharmacOf quo 
torquetur mundusy aliquid bona sanitatis consequatuTy ac victoria 
cedat non hominibus, sed ecdesice principi Christo cui debetur 
omnis gloria : qui Jbrtassis, ideo passus est has rerum hu" 
manarum proceUas inddercy ut quosdam mundana prosperi' 
iatis abundantia velut ebrios, ad Christiana mentis sobrietatem ex- 
pergefaceret.'* (Ep. ad Sigismundum Reg . Poloniee, May 1527.) 
He positively says, at the beginning of this letter, that he had 
been encouraged to address the Polish monarch by John Laski. 
Erasmus says also, in a letter addressed soon afterwards to 
Christopher Szydlowiecki, chancellor of Poland, alluding to the 
foregoing epistle, '' hac de re scripsi nonnihil et inclyto Regi 
PolonicB Sigismundo, jam semel atque iterum omatissimijuvenis, 
Joannis a Lasco litteris provocatus" 


in 1529, bishop of Vesprin in Hungary, and 
he was nominated in 1536, bishop of Cujavia, 
and there is no doubt that the influence of his 
family, united with his own merit, would have 
raised him to the first dignities of the Polish 
church : but, seeing at last no hope of the church 
of Rome effecting its own reformation, he resolved He leaves big 
on leaving his country in order to devote himself order to devote 
with more freedom and effect to the cause of the effectually to 
Reformation. It seems that he had communi- Rd^mation. ^ 
cated his intentions to the monarch, who perhaps 
afraid of the disturbances which the secession 
from the Roman church of such an eminent 
individual as John Laski might have caused, in a 
country where the Protestant party was still very 
weak, afforded to him an honourable pretext for 
going abroad. Laski left Poland in 1537, invested 
as it seems with a diplomatical character, but we 
know not the precise nature of his appointment.* 
We are unable to ascertain whitMer Laski went 
on leaving Poland ; we only know that having 

* BuUinger calls Laski^ in 1544, ** Regis Polonia Legatus," 
('^Scrinium antiquarium/' vol. iv. page 446.) Laski himself 
says, in the dedication to Sigismund Augustus of his ' Account 
of the Foreign Church/ that he left Poland with the consent of 
his monarch. But Pellican wrote to Laski in I54i4t, "Intellexe- 
ram te exulem ah Evangeliam/* apud Oabbema, Ossolinski says 
that Laski was deprived of his dignities and exiled : but this 
was done only when he publicly declared his opinions by 
marrying a wife. 



He publicly 
embraces the 
reformed reli- 

and settles in 
where he is 
entrusted with 
the organiza- 
tion of the 

publicly declared his adherence to the Protestant 
church, such as it was established by the 
Reformers of Switzerland, he married a wife at 
Mayence, in 1540, having sacrified the splendid 
prospects of preferment which he would have 
obtained had he remained in the pale of the 
Roman church.* His marriage, which completed 
in a most decisive manner his separation from 
Rome, naturally excited against him the violent 
hatred of the Roman clergy, who having excom- 
municated Laski as a professed heretic, attempted 
to calumniate him at the court of Brabant. Till 
1540, Laski seems not to have been engaged in 
any public ministry : but his extensive and diver- 
sified information, his upright character, and the 
friendly intercourse which he maintained with 
the first scholars of his time, acquired for him a 
great reputation amongst the Protectant princes, 
who sought to attract him to their states. Enno, 
count of East Friesland, who had shortly before 
his death resolved on introducing a complete re- 
formation of the church in his states, which had 
been in some degree commenced as early as in 
1528, proposed to Laski to accomplish that im- 

♦ Laski says himself; *^ Eram pridem insignis phariseus 
multis omatus titulis, multis et opulentis sacerdotiis a puero adhuc 
pulchre suffhrcinatus 1544. Bonus Deus me mihi restituit, atque ad 
veram sui cognitionem e media pharisaismo tandem evocavU.'' 
154f5^ Scrinium antiquarium, vol. viii. 


portant work. Laski, who had settled at Em- 
den, capital of Friesland, refused for some time to 
accept the supreme direction of the churches of 
that principality. The death of Count Enno, in 
1540, suspended the negociation on that subject; 
but Enno's sister Anna, sovereign princess of 
Friesland, insisted that Laski should undertake 
the organization of the churches in her dominions. 
Laski hesitated for a long time to accept that im- 
portant commission, pointing out his friend Har- 
denberg as a fit person for the accomplishment 
of such a task ; till at last, induced by the general 
supplications of the senate and people of Emden, 
he accepted the proffered charge in 1543, and 
was nominated the following year superintendent 
of all the churches of Friesland. The difficulties 
which he had to encounter, in completing the 
great work of Reformation in that principality, 
were indeed very great, as he was obliged to 
struggle against the marked reluctance to the 
entire abolition of Romanist rites, many of which 
were still retained by the churches of that country ; 
against the corruption of the clergy ; and above all, 
against the lukewammess in religious matters 
with which many persons were infected. The 
uncompromising zeal of the Polish reformer, and 
his perseverance, unshaken by any disappointment, 
succeeded, after six years of hard struggle, in 
weeding out completely the remnants of Roman 
superstition, and in fully establishing the Protes- 


tant religion. During that period, interrupted by 
8ome intervals, in which Laski, disgusted by the 
obstacles which were continually thrown in his 
way, had been obliged to resign his office, he 
abolished the worship of images ; introduced an 
improved order of hierarchy and church disci- 
pline; established a pure scriptural mode of 
receiving communion, and of explaining its mean- 
ing ; and determined a confession of faith, so that 
he may be considered as the real founder of the 
Protestant church of Friesland.* 

The reputation of La^ki induced many Pro- 
testant princes and churches to claim his assis- 
tance, and to request his advice. Albert Veden, 
archbishop of Cologne, and the duke of Hessen, 
frequently consulted him on many ecclesiastical 
aflfairs. Albert, duke of Prussia, proposed to 
Liaski the supreme direction of the ecclesiastical 
aflfairs of his dominions; but Laski set up as a 
condition the complete independence of the 
church from the temporal power, or its entire 
separation from the state. He was, moreover, 

* Laski himself describes the difficulties with which he had 
to deal in Friesland : *' Ego enim nuUi sevens et valens paream. 
Principem mihifaventem haheo, qua ut est pia plane et Christi- 
ana Jamina ita me ne deseram rogat. His veto aulicb nihil minus 
cordi est, qtiam religioy et sine legibus vivere assueti, ne nomen 
guidem disctpHnae ferunt. Me kic diu non esse mansurum, neque 
enim puto istos laturos meam reprehensionem, multominus disci- 
plinam>* — 1544^ Bibl. Bremensis. 


exceedingly adverse to the Roman Catholic rites 
which were still retained by the Lutheran church. 
These circumstances rendered impossible the 
acceptation of duke Albert's proposition, and the 
negotiation was dropped on both sides.* It was 
then that Laski drew up his confession, which he 
gave as the standard of faith to the churches of 
Friesland. He communicated it to many eminent 
reformers, as Melancthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Pel- 
lican, and Hardenberg. This confession, which 
maintained the same doctrine about the commu- 
nion that has been adopted by the reformers 
of Switzerland and the Anglican church, raised 
a violent indignation amongst the Lutherans. The 
divines of Brunswick, Hamburg, and Bremen 
attacked Laski in the most abusive and coarse 
manner, which he answered in a tone of Christian 
charity and meekness, opposing argument to the 
low abuse of the Lutheran divines. 

During his residence at Emden, Laski was 
frequently obliged to engage in polemical dis- 
cussion with many of those wild sectarians who 
infested Germany in the sixteenth century. The 

* ^' Quoniam sim migraturus nondum scio, sed vocor a multis, 
154L Vocor quidem et magnis precibus a Prussus duce homine 
pio, et nobis jamdudum addiclo" His good opinion about the 
duke of Prussia did not however last long, as he says 
afterwards of Prussia, ** Summam illic esse barbariem et 
Lutkero Papismum.'* Lutheranism preserved, indeed^ a great 
many remnants of Romanism. 



celebrated Menno Simonis* preached his doc- 
trines in the midst of Emden. Laski invited him 
to a friendly discussion, which was accepted, but 
did not produce any effect. The sect of David 
Georgis violently agitated Emden at that time. 
Laski had many theological discussions with that 
sectarian, but when all his efforts to convert them 
remained fruitless, the authorities of Emden 
ordered David Georgis and his followers to leave 
the town. The constant difficulties with which 
Laski had to struggle, in promoting his great 
work in Friesland, compelled him to resign, in 
1546, the supreme direction of the ecclesiastical 
affairs of that country, and to limit his activity to 
the office of a simple minister of a church at 
Emden. He perceived with great pain that 
a marked leaning to Lutheranism was be- 
ginning to prevail amongst the inhabitants of 
Friesland. A clergyman of the name of Lemmius 
was the chief promoter of that party, which 
rapidly increasing, loudly manifested the project 
of calling Melancthon, in order to establish 

• Menno was bom in Friesland in 1496, and was ordained a 
Roman Catholic priest in 1524. He embraced the opinions 
of the Anabaptists in 1536^ and is the founder of the sect of 
Mennonites, who are a branch of the Anabaptists^ and are 
distinguished by their great morality. Menno died in 1561, 
in Holstein^ and left many works of a polemical and mystic 
nature ; a collection of them was published in Amsterdam^ 
1600, 1646, 1681. 


Lutheran worship, instead of that which had been 
introduced by Laski. At the same time he 
received a most flattering invitation from the 
archbishop Cranmer to join the many eminent 
reformers who were then called to England in Laski is invited 
order to complete the reformation of its church.* JJsiSln ^"^ 
The above-mentioned invitation was chiefly made ^Sof Eng- 
by the influence of Peter Martyr and Turner, ^*"^- 
the second of whom particularly recommended 
Laski to the Protector Somerset, who wrote also 
himself on that occasion to the Polish reformer. 

Although Laski had still a strong party in 
Friesland, and enjoyed the favour of the sove- 
reign princess, who was very reluctant to part 
with him, and was induced only by the pressing 
demands of the English court to grant him leave 
of absence, he resolved on accepting the invi- 
tation of Cranmer. 

Being, however, uncertain as to the real prin- His first visit 

to England. 

* ** Joanne A. Lasco amico suo carissimo. Cupimus nostris 
ecclesiis veram de Deo proponere doctrinam, nee volumus 
cotkumum Jacere, aut ambiguitatibus ludere, sed remota omni 
prudentia carnis, veram perspicuam, sacrarum litterarum normcBy 
convenieniem doctrines formam ad posteros transmiUere, ad p€r^ 
Jbdendam rem tantam, eruditorum hominum presentia nobis opus 
esse judicavimuSf qui coUatis nobiscum judiciis doctrinis contro^ 
versias toUant et integrum corpus vera doctrines extruant. Ac' 
cerivimus igitur et te et alios quosdam doctos viros qui cum ad 
nos venirent, ita ut nullum ferre ex iis prater et Melancthonem 
desideremus ; summopere te rogamus ut et ipse ad nos venias, 
T. Cantuariensis Londini, July 4^ 1548 apud Gabbema. 


ciples on which the refonnation of the English 
church was to be effected, he resolved to make, 
previously, only a temporary visit to England, in 
order to become thoroughly acquainted with the 
projects of the English reformers- He therefore 
took a temporary leave of the congregation over 
which he presided as a minister, and having 
received an authorization to that effect from his 
monarch, he repaired to England, where he ar- 
rived in September 1548, after having crossed 
Brabant and other Roman Catholic countries in 
disguise. A residence of six months at Lambeth 
with the archbishop Cranmer, established an 
intimate friendship between these two eminent 
reformers, who entirely coincided in their views 
on the reformation of the church in point of 
doctrine, as well as in that of hierarchy and 
church discipline. Laski wrote from Windsor to 
his congregation a consolatory epistle, and having 
left England in company with an ambassador, he 
arrived at Emben, where he found the affairs of 
his congregation in a very dangerous state, as is 
evident from the letter which he addressed from 
the above-mentioned town to Sir William Cecil, 
on the 9th April 1549.* He visited Bremen, 
Hamburg, Dantzic, Konisgberg, and many other 
places. The impression which he left in England 
was of the most favourable nature, and Latime r 

* Vide Strype's Memorials of Cranmer, page 231. 


in a sermon preached before king Edward the 
Sixth, extolled Laski with high praises.* 

The introduction of the Interim of 1548,t 
into Friesland accelerated Laski's departure 
from that country. He was moreover accused of 
political intrigues, and that the object of his 
journey to England was to arrange an alliance 
between the kings of Poland and England, 
against the emperor. The falsehood of this ac- 
cusation was proved by a letter which Sigismund 

* Latimer also made way for his reception, and in one 
of his sermons before king Edward, made honourable men- 
tion of him, using an argument proper for that audience^ 
vis* how much it would tend to the bringing down God's 
blessing on the realm, to receive him and such pious exiles 
as he* " John A. Lasco was here, a great learned man, and as 
'< they say a nobleman in his country, and is gone his way 
*' again. If it be for lack of entertainment, the more the 
pity. I could wish such men as he to be in the realm^ 
for the realm should prosper in receiving them. ^ He that 
*^ receiveth you receiveth me,' saith Christ, and it should be 
** for the king^s honour to receive them and to keep them." 
Vide StTjrpe, page 236. 

f This ordinance of Charles the Fifth, called so from being 
proclaimed as a temporary enactment until the affairs of 
the church should be settled by a general council, allowed 
to the Protestsoits of Germany only the communion of two 
kinds, while it compelled them to receive all the Roman 
tenets and rites which had been abolished. It was abrogated 
by the convention of Passau in 1552, and the peace of Augs- 
burg, by which full religious liberty was conceded to the 

VOL. I. S 


258 SKETCH OF the 

Augustus himself addressed to Laski on that 
subject, and which reached him before his de- 
parture from Emden,* which he left in October, 
and after having resided for some time at Bremen 
and Hamburg, he embarked from the last-named 
town, and reached England in the spring of 1550, 
He returns to Laski was nominated the superintendent of 
created iuper- the foreign Protestant congregation established 
the7ore?gn° at Loudou. It was composed of French, Ger- 
mans, and Italians, who found both asylum and 
liberal support from the English Government. 
The congregation received the church of Austin 
Friars, and a charter conferring on them all 
the rights of a corporation. The object of such 
a congregation was very important, and proves 
the enlightened zeal and the extensive views of 
Cranmer, as it might easily have become the seed 
of reformation in those countries whence its 
members were obliged to flee. The nomination of 
Laski, given by Edward VI, 24th July 1650, was 
couched in the most flattering terms.f We will 

* Vide Friese, vol. i. page 282. 

f « Voluimus prceterea quod Johannes A Lasco natione 
PolonuSf homo propter integritaiem et innocentiam vUa, ac 
morum et singularem eruditionem valde Celebris, sit primus et 
modemus superintendens dicta ecclesuB ; et quod Gualterus Dolo^ 
emuSf Martinus Flandrus, Franciscus RiveriuSy Richardus 
Gallus^ sint quatuor primi et modemi ministri. Damns prcB^ 
terea et concedimus prafatis, superintendenti et ministris et sue* 
cessoribus suis facultatemy auctoritatemy et licentiam, post mortem 



give the description of A. Lasco's residence in 
London in the very words of Cranmer's bio- 
grapher Strype (quem vide, page 234). ** It 
was but a little after the king had received this 
congregation of foreigners into England, and had 
granted them a church, viz. St. Augustine's, that 
a great contest happened among them about 
their church, yielded them for their religious 
worship." This Peter Martyr took notice of with 
grief to Bucer, and adds, that their minds 
were so implacable to one another, that the 
difference was fain to be referred to the Privy 
Council to make an end of. But not to leave our 
superintendent yet. 

A Lasco, with his strangers, being settled in 
London, and incorporated by the king's patents, 
being their chief pastor and a stirring- man, was 
very industrious to procure and maintain the 
liberties and benefits of his church. The mem- 
bers thereof had planted themselves chiefly at 
St. Katherine's and in Great and Little South- 
wark. Here they were now and then called 

*oel 'oacationem alicujus ministri predkatorum de tempore in tempus 
eligendi, nominandi, et surrogandi aliam personam habilem et 
idoneam in locum suum ; ita tamen quod persona sic nominatus et 
electus prasentetur et sistatur coram nobis, heredihus vel successor 
ribus nostrist et per nos hceredes vel successores nostros insti- 
tuantur in ministerium pradictum,** Vide Burnet's History of 
the Reformation^ vol. ii« page 204, of the Collection of the 

s 2 


upon, by the churchwardens of their respective 
parishes, to resort to their parish churches ; 
though the ministers themselves did not appear 
in it. In the month of November, anno 1552, 
some of these strangers inhabiting the parts of 
Southwark were again troubled by their church- 
wardens, and threatened with imprisonment 
unless they would come to church. Where- 
upon the superintendent, A Lasco, applied 
himself to the Lord Chancellor, who was then 
Goodrich, bishop of Ely. By the way, one 
might inquire why he resorted not rather to his 
friend and patron, the archbishop of Canterbury ? 
But the reason may soon be guessed ; namely, 
that after the fall of Somerset, the archbishop's 
good friend, he came not so often to court or 
transacted business there unless sent for, know- 
ing his interest likewise to be but little with 
the duke of Northumberland, who now bore 
all the sway^ and who had a jealous eye of 
him, as he had of all Somerset's friends. And 
so the archbishop might rather have hinder- 
ed than forwarded A Lasco's business if he 
had appeared in it. But this en passant. The 
Chancellor gently received A Lasco, and dis- 
missing him, sent him to Secretary Cecyl with 
this message^ to %et him to propound the bu- 
siness the next day in the afternoon at the 
council board, when himself should be there : 
promising him likewise that he would be assis- 


tant to him in procuring him a warrant in 
writing to be directed to all ministers and 
churchwardens of the parishes of South waric and 
St. Catherine, that for the time to come the 
strangers of this congregation should receive no 
molestation in that regard any more. 

" Accordingly A Lasco next morning sent one 
of the elders of the church to Cecyl with his 
letter, excusing himself that he came not, being 
grievously afflicted with a pain in his head. 
Therein he acquainted him with the sum of his 
conference with the Lord Chancellor, adding that 
the obtaining such a warrant would be necessary 
for them to produce and show, to such as at that 
present did annoy them, and to be hereafter 
kept by the church, that they might not be 
forced at other times, upon the like occasion, 
to create new trouble to the king's council or 
himself, in suing for new warrants of that nature ; 
meaning hereby to put the secretary upon drawing 
this up the more formally and substantially. 
And so entreating him to hear what the elder 
had to say and to despatch him, he took his 

The superintendency of A Lasco seemed to 
extend not only to this particular congregation 
of Germans, but over all the other churches of 
foreigners set up in London, as also over their 
schools of learning and education ; they were 
all subject to his inspection, and within his juris- 


diction. And Melancthon, in an epistle to him in 
the month of September 1551, speaks of the purity 
of doctrine in his churches. His condition now as 
to worldly circumstances began to be so good, 
that he was able to relieve and succour such 
learned foreigners as should retire hither ; for 
when one Nicholas Forst, a learned and grave 
man, who had lived long in the university of 
Lou vain and had spent some time with Melanc* 
thon, was minded for the sake of religion to convey 
himself into England, he recommended him ear- 
nestly to the superintendent as a person fit to 
teach in his churches and schools : and that he 
would friendly entertain him as an exile for the 
same cause himself was, and find him some little 
nest to remain in. Nay, and the said Melancthon 
himself had some thoughts of sheltering himself 
under A Lasco here, as appears by the fore-men- 
tioned letter, wherein he styles him his patron; 
for the superscription of his letter is this : " //- 
lustri Magnifico ac Reverendo VirOy Nobilitate 
generisy Virtute et Sapienlid prastanti Domu 
no Johanni A. Lasco^ Patrono sua colendo.^^ — 
So much of deference and honour did learned 
and pious men then use to give him. In this 
letter Melancthon told him that the calamities 
were great, and that he himself expected banish- 
ment, and might probably in a short time arrive 
where he was. And in respect of his hospitable 
reception of strangers, he told him that he be- 


lieved he did often remember the saying of the 
exiled queen : 

" Hand ignara malty miseris uccurrere 

Barnelt accuses Laski, that, being a foreigner, 
he intermeddled with the affairs of the English 
church,* by giving his opinions about some 
points of the discipline and ritual of that church. 
But we ask every unprejudiced reader whether it 
was blame or praise that Laski deserved, when 
having been called to this country purposely for 
the object of co-operating in the great work of the 
reformation of its church,! he openly declared 
what he conscientiously believed to be right? 
Many others in his place, would perhaps have 
abstained from giving utterance to sentiments 
opposed to those which were entertained by the 
men on whom their worldly interests were de- 
pending, instead of maintaining, as Laski did, 
their principles at the risk of losing the favour 
of their friends. We suppose that Burnett, who 
only slightly touches on the residence of Laski 
in England, was ignorant of his having been 

* " But A. Lasco did not carry himself with that decency 
that became a stranger who was so kindly received, for he 
wrote against the orders of this church, both in the manner of 
its habits and about the posture in the sacrament, being 
for sitting |rather than kneeling."— Vide Burnet's History of 
the Reformation, 

f Vide Cranmer's letter to Laski, July 4, 1548, note in 
page 255. 


invited to this country as a reformer, and thai he 
believed him to have been only the chief of the 
Protestant refugees, and that otherwise he would 
not have proffered against him such an unjust 

The frankness with vi^hich Laski expressed his 
opinions about different ecclesiastical matters did 
not injure the estimation is which he was held by 
the English Government, because, according to 
the same Burnett, he w^as nominated one of the 
divines vi^ho formed part of the commission ap- 
pointed on the6th October 1551, for the reforma- 
tion of the ecclesiastical law.* 

The demise of Edward the Sixth, and the 
accession of queen Mary, intercepted the progress 
of the Reformation in England ; but the violent 
reaction in favour of Romanism was not extended 
to the foreign church, the members of which were 
Laski is obliged permitted to Icavc the country without molesta- 

to leave Eng- * ^ 

land with his tiou. Laski embarked on the 16th September 

congregation. ^ 

1553, at Gravesend, on board two Danish 
vessels, with 175 individuals, who resolved to 
follow their pastor and to share his fate. 

A storm scattered the little fleet which bore 
They suffer from Eusiland the pious wanderers, and the ship 

persecution o i ' r 

from the Lu- 

♦ These divines were Taylor, Cox, Parker, Latimer, 

Cook, Peter Martyr, Cheek, John A Lasco. — ^Vide Burnett's 

History of the Reformation, vol. iii. page 208, edition 1715. We 

must add that Laski promoted by his exertions the printing 

of the Common Prayer Book in French. 


in which Laski was embarked entered the port theransmDen 

* mark and in 

Elsinore, in Denmark. The king granted him a some parts of 

, I Germany. 

favourable audience, and refused not a hospitable 
reception to the pilgrims ; but Noviomagus, the 
chaplain of the king, a zealous Lutheran, suc- 
ceeded in changing the mind of the monarch. He 
violently attacked the reformed church in a ser- 
mon at w^hich Laski was present, being invited 
by the king. Laski deeply felt that mean breach 
ofh ospitality committed by the Lutheran clergy, 
who did not limit their persecution to such a 
despicable proceeding as to insult a person in 
misfortune ; they proposed to him to abandon 
what they called his heresy ; and the apology for 
his creed which Laski presented to the king did 
not soften the odium theologicum of the Danish 
clergy, whom Laski justly calls " Rigidi Jidei 
Luther ance exactor es^ Having abandoned Ro- 
manism in a very imperfect manner, they seemed 
to have retained, with many superstitions of that 
church, its spirit of persecution. Westphalus, a 
Lutheran divine, called the wandering church of 
Laski the martyrs of the devil ; and Bugenhagius, 
another divine of the same communion, declared 
that they should not be considered as Christians.* 

* '< Quotidie^experior Lutheranos etjudicio superior e et charitate 
atque ideo humanitate vacuos, accelerare sibi justum Domini judki- 
um : perpessi sumus et dissimulavimus eorum barbaram durUiem, 
Librum J. Westphali kominis crassi accepL Dominus ignoscat huic 
et reliquis plane ineptis LutheranisJ* (BuUinger I554i, apud 



The congregation of Laski received the intimation 
that the king would rather suflTer Papists than 
them in his dominions, and they were obliged to 
embark, notwithstanding the inclemency of the 
season ; the children of Laski alone were permit- 
ted to remain till the return of more favourable 
weather. The same hatred of the Lutherans 
persecuted the congregation of Laski at Ham- 
burg, Lubeck, and Rostock ; and the Lutheran 
ministers, in whose minds divinity seemed to have 
stifled Christianity, refused even to listen to them, 
condemning their doctrine without a hearing. 
Dantzic gave an asylum to the remnants of the 
unfortunate congregation, and Laski himself, who 

Baggema.) Vergerius describes this Westphalus as a ^*Aomo 
ineptus et inopportunus." Calvinus, ^^juxta ac J. A* Lasco qucB- 
sUos esse perhihei Hosius, quod Lutherus papaium non stistulerit 
sed se ipsum potius papam Jeceritf toco lignei, Jerreum imposU' 
erit Jugum" (Bock Hist. Antitrinitar.) " Iste vero (Laski) 
qucBsivit sibi hactenus locum ^ ubi cum suis $tbi constiiuat singU" 
laretn ecdesiam, quce nunquamjuit Christie* (Bugenhagius 
Scrip. Antiq. voL v. page 93.) Friese^ a Lutheran writer of 
the eighteenth century, seems to have greatly retained the 
prejudices of his co-religionists of the tenth, against Laski. He 
accuses him, amongst other things, of having declared, when at 
Emden, that Luther was an illiterate boor. Vide his Beytrage 
zur Reformation Geschichte in Polen, voL i. page 280. It is a 
fact that Laski was rather severe on the Lutherans, for their 
almost Romanist explanation of the Eucharist, as he says of 
them in one place, ^' Idolum nobis in Sacramentis erexit Sa^ 
tanuSf prodigiosa idolatria, magica prcestigie,** 


retired to Emden, was received with every mark 
of respect and attachment by his former disciples.* 
He sent from Emden to the king of Denmark a 
severe remonstrance against the unmerited treat- 
ment he had met in his states, and he soon 
received an invitation from Gustavus Vasa, king 
of Sweden, to settle in his dominions, with a pro- 
mise of full liberty of conscience to him and 
his congregation. Laski did not take advantage 
of that offer, apparently intending to settle in 
Friesland, where he had formerly laboured with 
so much advantage to the cause of the Reforma- 
tion. His hopes of remaining there were, how- 
ever, soon disappointed by the growing influence 
of Lutheranism, and the hostility of the court of 
Brabant, which could not bear the vicinity of 
such an eminent reformer. These circumstances 
united in rendering Laski's residence at Emden 
irksome, and he consequently resolved to return 
to his own country, where the Protestant party 
was in great want of such a learned and expe- 
rienced leader. Notwithstanding all the efforts 
which the inhabitants of Emden, faithful to the 
founder of their church, made in order to retain 
him, and the offers of the reigning princess, 
he retired to Frankfort on the Maine, where 

* " Ita vero hie excepti sumusy ut si ad tnaxime necessarios 
venissemf amantius except non potuerim" Laski's letter, Decem- 
ber 1553. Vide Bibl. Bremensis. 


he established a church for the Belgian Protestant 
refugees, whose rites and confession received a 
full authorization from the senate of the city. 

Laski maintained constantly an intercourse 
with many of his countrymen, about religious as 
well as personal affairs ; he continued to enjoy 
the regard of his sovereign, and we have already 
said, that on his leaving Poland, he was entrust- 
ed by Sigismund the First with a diplomatical 
mission ; and that Sigismund Augustus bore evi- 
dence by his own letter, against the calumnious 
reports spread about Laski. During his residence 
in England, Edward the Sixth wrote to Sigis- 
mund Augustus, representing him as a man gifted 
with eminent qualities, and possessing a most 
extensive information. Laski never lost sight of 
his great object, which was to promote the cause 
of the Reformation in his own country, as soon as 
a fit opportunity for action might present itself. 
When he engaged in his apostolical duties, in 
Friesland as well as in this country, it was 
always on the express condition that he should 
be able to return to his native land, as soon as its 
religious affairs should render his presence useful 
and necessary. 
EffortsofLaski During his residence at Frankfort, Laski was 
ProteJtont^ particularly engaged in attempts at uniting the 

two Protestant churches, i. e. the Lutheran and 
Reformed. He was encouraged to promote that 
union by the letters of his sovereign, Sigismund 



Augustus, who considered such an union as an 
important step towards an amicable settlement 
of the religious dissensions which agitated his 
kingdom, and which he had much at heart. Such 
an union was moreover of the greatest importance 
to the Protestant cause, which was much weak- 
ened by those unfortunate dissensions. Induced 
by such motives, Laski presented to the senate of 
Frankfort a memorial, where he proved that there 
was not sufficient cause for dividing the two Pro- 
testant churches. A discussion on that important 
subject, fixed for the 22d May 1556, and favoured 
by several German princes, was expected to pro- 
duce that desideratum : but the Lutheran divine, » 
Brentius, destroyed at once every hope of con- 
ciliation, by exacting that the followers of the 
Reformed church should sign the confession of 
Augsburg. The same Brentius tried to establish 
the Ubiquitatenij maintaining it by arguments 
which Laski declared to be paradoxes, unheard- 
of before, and which could not be supported 
either by the Scriptures or by the Fathers. Bren- 
tius answered the objections of Laski by calling 
him Studium imposturae.* The discussion vdden- 

* Serin. Antiq. vol. li. pages 477, 542. We are sorry to 
say that even Melancthon^ who not only professed a great 
admiration for Laski^ but even inclined at that time to the 
tenets of the Swiss Reformers, which were maintained by 
Laski^ speaks in a letter to Camerarius of the man whom 
he called his patron, in the following terms : " Ille vero 



ed the breach instead of effecting a reconcilia- 
tion. Laski lost not, however, the hope of effect- 
ing the desired union, and in order to make a last 
effort, he went to Wittemberg, having been 
induced by the duke of Hessen to converse with 
Melancthon on that important subject. He was 
received there with great distinction, and the 
university wished to honour him in a public man- 
ner, which however Laski declined. He did not 
succeed in obtaining an official discussion on 
the subject in question, but Melancthon en- 
trusted him with a letter to the king of Poland, 
to which he added the modified confession of 
Augsburg, with the promise of sending a more 
ample explanation of that subject, if the king 
should decide on establishing the Reformation 
in his country. Sigismund Augustus read Me- 
lancthon's letter, and believed that there was a 
possibility of effecting an union of the Protestant 
churches of Poland ; an event which took place 
afterwards, and which we shall describe in its 
proper place. 

Before Laski returned to his native land he 
published a new edition of his account of the 
foreign churches, which he had superintended 
in London, as well as after his expulsion from 

Sarmaticusy qui nihil moderate spirans, dominari ubivis voluiif 
ejusque reformatis fateniibusy per imprudentiam et contentiosum 
ingeniuniy non solum in Dania sed ubivis rebus suorum officii. 


England; he dedicated it to his monarch, the 
senate, and all the states of his country, the 6th 
September 1555, Frankfort on the Maine.* He 
explained besides in a calm and dignified manner, 
but with strong argument, his views about the 
necessity of a reformation in Poland, and the 
motives which had induced him to reject the 
doctrine and hierarchy of Rome. He maintained 
that the gospels alone were the true foundation of 
religious doctrine and of the ecclesiastical disci- 
pline, and that neither tradition nor long-esta- 
blished custom could have any authority what- 
ever ; that even the evidence of the fathers of 
the church was not decisive, as they have fre- 
quently expressed opinions widely differing one 
from another ; and that they endeavoured to esta- 
blish a complete unity of faith, without ever at- 
taining that desideratum ; that the surest means 
of removing every doubt and uncertainty, was 
to investigate the doctrines and the organization 

♦ The title of this work is : " Forma ac Ratio tota Ecclesi- 
astica Minisierii, in peregrinorum vero Germanorum Ecdesia 
instUuta, Londini in Anglia per ptentissimum principem Anglue 
Sfc, Regent Eduardum ejus nominis Sextum, anno post Christum 
natum 1550. Addito ad calcem libeUi privilegio sues Majestatis, 
Autore Joanne A. Lascoy Polonia harone. Cum brevi etiam fin 
episiola nuncupatoriaj calumniarum quarundam refittatione ; qua 
falsa adversus ipsum in Martiniani cujusdam apud Bremen, 
Pastorejarragine inspersa habentur** 

' Vir lingua non dirigetur in terra ; Virum iniquum malum 
venebitur ad pracipitium,* Psalm 140. 


of the primitive apostolical church : that the 
words of the gospel cannot be expounded and 
its sense extended by expressions entirely foreign 
to its spirit, and that councils and learned divines 
have in this respect made many abuses. He also 
stated that the Pope was raising great obstacles 
to the restoration of the gospel, which it was 
necessary to overcome, and that a very prosperous 
beginning to that effect had already been made ; 
the king being not adverse to the reform which 
was demanded by the greatest and best part of the 
inhabitants of the country.* The reforms should, 
however, be said, be carried on with great judg- 
ment, because not every one who reasoned against 
Rome was necessarily orthodox. It was neces- 
sary to take care that, instead of the old tyranny, 
a new one should not be raised ; or that, on the 
other hand, a too great indulgence might not give 
birth to atheism, to which many people seemed 
to have a great inclination. The dispute about 
the true meaning of the Eucharist being till 
now doubtful and indefinite, it is necessary to 
pray God that he may enlighten us on that im- 
portant subject. However, the body and blood 
of our Lord are received only by faith (a fide 

* "Non a ministris modo iisdemque plurimisy idem plebis mtUti- 
UidinCy sed ab unvoersa propemodum nobilUate, etiam virorum 
nobUium ordine, instauratio religionis pia, publicejuxta verbum." 
{Serin Antiquarium, torn. iii. folio 1.) 


sold reciperunt); there is neither personal nor 
bodily presence in the communion. Besides this 
exposition of his religious principles, he added 
some explanations personally relating to himself; 
as, for instance, that he never was an exile from 
his country, but left it with the authorization of 
the late monarch ; that he had fulfilled in many 
parts of Europe the duties of a Christian pastor; 
that he was a superintendent of the foreign con- 
gregation, whose doctrines and organization he 
proposed as a model for the reformation of 
the Polish church. Such an eminent character 
as Laski was certainly the most proper person 
to take the lead of the Reformation in Poland, 
and it was but natural that the Protestants 
looked to him with hope and admiration, equal 
to the malice and anger with which he was 
viewed by the Roman Catholics, who attempted 
to spread the foulest calumnies against him. 
Laski arrived in Poland in the month of Decem- Laskfs retanr 
ber 1556; and as soon as his arrival became where he' con- 
known^ the bishopSy excited by the nuncio of the toUca^ laijours. 
Pope, Aloysius Lippomani, convoked a meeting 
in order to deliberate about the manner of acting 
against the " butcher (carnifex) of the church and 
Poland," as Zebrzydowski called Laski. They 
went in crowds to the king, representing to him 
the dangers of the arrival of such a man as Laski, 
who, according to their version, was an outlawed 
heretic, and who^ being expelled from every 

VOL. I. T 


place, returned to his native land in order to 
produce troubles and commotions; that he was 
collecting troops in order to destroy the churches 
of the diocese of Cracow, intending to raise a 
rebellion against the monarch, and to spread riots 
and depredations over all the country. The king 
was, however, very far from approving the clamour 
of the bishops, which produced no effect upon his 
mind. It was then that Lippomani advised the 
king to adopt the most tyrannical and unprin- 
cipled measures in order to exterminate heresy.* 

Soon after his return to Poland, Laski was^ 
entrusted with the superintendence of all the 
reformed churches in Little Poland. The chief 
object of his strenuous exertions was now to 
unite all the Protestants into one body, and he 
strongly urged them to forsake several minor 
points of difference which divided them, in order 
to defend with united forces the great evangelical 
(ruths common to all their confessions. This pro- 
ject was much facilitated by the union which 
had already taken place in 1555, at the synod of 
Kozminek, between the reformed churches of the 
Bohemian Brethren. 

When Laski arrived in Poland, Sigismund 
Augustus was at Vilna, capital of Lithuania. 
Being anxious to act in a decisive manner, he 
resolved on going to Vilna in order to induce the 

♦ Vide next chapter. 


monarch to adopt the great measures of reforma- 
tion loudly demanded by the most enlightened 
part of the nation. This journey, which filled the 
Roman Catholics with dismay, did not, however, 
take place, for reasons which we are unable to 
explain.^ Laski sent to the monarch an expo*- 
sition of his views about the reformation of the 
Polish church, letters of Melancthon, and the 
modified Augustaiji confession. The king received 
the letters of Laski in a very favourable manner, 
but delayed to take any decisive steps until an 
union amongst the Protestants themselves should 
be effected. 

About the same time the Italian Lismanini The Italian 

111 •! J Lismanini 

returned to Poland. We have already described inflicts great 
the prominent part which he had taken in the cause of the 
meetings of the secret assembly of Cracow, which Poland, by em- 
discussed religious subjects, and which he fur- Tri^ufrlali^ 
nished with the new works of the reformers ; ^p**^*^"** 
we have also mentioned the dangers to which 
he had been exi>osed in 1549, by the accusations 
which the bishop of Cracow sent to Rome 
against him. These circumstances confirmed still 

* Christopher Warszewicki, a Roman Catholic author q£ 
the sixteenth century, says that Laski had seen Sigismund 
Augustus, and conversed with him ; he also states that Laski 
had been sent in a diplomatic capacity to Henry the Eighth 
between 1527-80, and that he was employed in the same 
capacity to the duke of Prussia about 1557. s^ We have, how- 
ever, no other authority for corroborating this statement 

T 2 


more bis anti-Romanist opinions, although he 
strictly preserved the outward appearance of 
a Roman Catholic monk. Lismanini could have 
been one of the most useful promoters of the 
Reformation in Poland, by his free access to 
Sigismund Augustus, whose favour he had gained 
by bringing about an apparent reconciliation 
between his queen, Barbara Radziwill, and his 
royal mother. Lismanini employed, indeed, the 
influence which he had over the monarch in 
order to convert him to the doctrines of the Re- 
formation, and he expounded to him for some 
time, on Wednesdays and Fridays, the Institutes 
of Calvin. The king, being anxious to know the 
real state of the Reformation in Germany, and 
other parts of Europe, in respect to its doctrines, 
as well as the influence which they exercised over 
the countries where they were prevalent, com- 
missioned Lismanini to visit the principal parts 
of Europe in which Protestantism was introduced, 
and to give him a faithful account on the above- 
mentioned subject. The real object of Lisma- 
nini's mission was, however, kept very secret, 
and he left Poland in 1553, with the ostensible 
purpose of making some learned investigations, 
and of purchasing books for the royal library. 
He began by visiting Italy, and remained for 
some time at Venice, Padua, and Milan, where 
he excited such a strong suspicion of heresy, 
that he was imprisoned, but afterwards released. 


as being intrusted with the commissions of the 
king of Poland. From thence he proceeded to 
Switzerland, where he became intimate with the 
most eminent professors of the school of Zurich, 
Gualterus, Pellican, BuUinger, Gesner, &c. He 
afterwards visited Berne, Geneva, Lyons, and 
remained for some time at Paris, preserving 
always the outward appearance of a Roman Ca^ 
tholic priest. He made, every where, careful in- 
vestigations on the state of religious affairs, com- 
municating a part of his observations to king 
Sigismund Augustus, but reserving the most 
important for his return to Poland. From Paris 
he went to Switzerland, where, induced by the 
persuasions of Calvin, he publicly embraced Pro- 
testantism, and married a wife. This proceeding 
was very much combated by his companion and 
secretary, Stanislaus Budzinski, who represented 
to him that such a premature declaration of his 
Protestant opinions was very injurious to the 
cause of the Reformation in Poland, and that 
he should have preserved the Roman Catholic 
forms until his return to that country, as it would 
have given him much greater facility for ac- 
complishing the conversion of the monarch.* ^ 

Lismanini's act was certainly impolitic, as the 
king, who did not wish publicly to declare his reli- 
gious opinions, interrupted all intercourse with 

* Budzinski became afterwards known as a Socinian writer. 


him. The clergy excommunicated faim, and the 
king, probably offended by Lismanini, who had 
in some measure betrayed his own views, signed 
an order prohibiting his entrance into Poland, 
and stopped the pecuniary supplies with which 
he had supported him. He wrote several times 
to the king, in order to regain his ancient favour ; 
but neither his own letters, nor the intercessions 
of Calvin, BuUinger, and Beza seemed to have 
produced any effect on the mind of the king, who 
was moreover excited against Lismanini by his 
mother, queen Bona, who could not pardon her 
J ancient confessor for having publicly abandoned 
the church of Rome. When a Protestant synod 
was to be convoked, in 1555, at Pinczow, Calvin 
wrote to the most influential Protestants in 
Poland, urging them to invite Lismanini as one 
who might prove of great use to their cause. 
' Many eminent persons interceded in his behalf, 
and the departure of queen Bona, who left 
Poland the same year,* removed the great 
obstacle to his return. He arrived at Poland in 
June 1555, but remained for some time concealed 
at Ivanovitze, in the house of a noble lady called 
Agnes Dluski. 
He wrote to Tamowski, who promised to 

* Queen Bona lefl Poland in 1555 and died in 1557^ 
at Bari (in the kingdom of Naples), which was her property, 
inherited from her mother^ a Neapolitan princess. 


employ all his interest in order to remove the 
decree of exile which was issued against him. 
The permission to remain in the country was 
finally granted to Lismanini, at the particular 
request of Bonar, castellan of Biecz, and Cruciger, 
superintendent of the reformed churches of Little 
Poland, who interceded with the king in the 
name of the nobles and the ministers of their 
confession. But, although the monarch revoked 
the orders which he had issued against Lisma- 
nini, he never restored him to his favour, and 
never granted him an audience. 

Notwithstanding the loss of the favour he 
had enjoyed with the monarch, Lismanini might 
still have rendered immense services to the cause 
of the Reformation in Poland, by his great 
learning, his talents of persuasion, and the great 
influence which he enjoyed with many eminent 
persons in that country, had he remained faithful 
to the cause which he had publicly embraced at 
Geneva, and cordially united his efforts with 
those of Laski, in order to accomplish an union 
among the sects which divided the Polish Protes- 
tants, and which was a preliminary and indis- 
pensable step for ensuring the ultimate triumph 
of their cause in Poland. But, unfortunately, 
he soon began to betray anti-Trinitarian opi- 
nions. It is probable that his mind had become 
imbued with them as early as in 1551, 
when Lelio Socino having arrived in Poland, 


found a hospitable reception in his house ; 
although he concealed his real sentiments so well 
that Calvin, as well as the reformei-s of Zurich, had 
for some time firmly believed him to be a staunch 
adherent to their doctrines. He was impeached 
before the synod of Cracow, where his real opi- 
nions being ascertained, he was excluded from the 
/ reformed church, and soon afterwards left Poland. 
He retured to Konigsberg, where he termi- 
nated his life by suicide, in 1563, which he 
committed in a fit of insanity caused by domestic 

Laski, although deprived of the support of 
Lismanini, continued with unabated vigour his 
efforts to consolidate the cause of the Reformation 
in Poland. The united influence of his learning, 
moral character, and great family connexions, 
particularly contributed to the spread and esta- 
te blishment of the tenets maintained by the Swiss 
reformers amongst the higher classes in Poland. 
His great object, of which he never lost sight, was 
to unite all the Protestant sects in Poland, and 
finally to establish the reformation of all the 
country, entirely modelled on the plan of the 
Anglican church, of which he was a great ad- 
mirer, and in which he continued to take an 

* Lismanini was bom in Corfu, and studied in Italy. He 
was recommended to queen Bona by some of her Italian 


active interest to the end of his life.* He took a 
very active part at the synods of Ivanovitze in 
1557, and that of Wlodzislav in 1558, and he may 
be considered as having laid the foundation of 
the union of the Protestant confessions, which 
was effected after his death by the celebrated 

* He (A Lasco) was alive at the accession of queen Elizabeth 
to the English throne ; and though he came not back then to 
England again^ whence he departed upon king Edward's death, 
yet, according to the great interest he had there with the 
most eminent persons^ and even the queen herself^ he neglected 
not by his letters to promote the Reformation, and to give his 
grave counsel in order thereunta And Zanchy, public 
professor at Strasburg, knowing the sway he bare here, in 
a letter to him in the year in 1558 or 1559, excited him in 
these words : '^ Non dubito, quin T. P. jamdudum scripserit 
ad reginam, eique consuluerit qua pro illius regni canservatione 
et regni Ckristi instaurattonefadenda judicarit,*' S^c. ** That he 
'* doubted not, he had before now written to the queen^ 
'^ and given her his advice^ what he judged fit to be 
^* done for the preservation of her kingdom, and for the 
'' restoring of the kingdom of Christ. Yet he would not 
^' omit to pray him to do it again and again by his repeated 
" letters. * For I know,* said he, * how great your authority 
" is with the English, and with the queen herself. Now 
^' certainly is the time that you, and such as you, should by 
** your counsels help so pious a queen, and consult for the safety 
'^ of so great a kingdom, yea, and succour the whole Christian 
'^ church, every where a£3icted and vexed ; for we know 
^' that if Christ's kingdom be happily introduced into the 
^< kingdom of England, no small aid will thence come to 
^« all the other churches dispersed through Germany, Poland, 
'' and other countries/ " — Vide Strype's Memorials of Arch- 
bishop Cranmer, pages 238-39. 


Consensus Sendomiriensis. He took also an 
active part in the translation of the well-known 
Bible of Brzesc, and published many books, the 
most part of which are now lost. His death, in 
1560, interrupted his unwearied exertions in the 
great cause of the Reformation, and prevented 
him from putting into execution the great designs 
for which he was making adequate preparations ; 
and we may suppose that, if his life had been 
spared, he would have accomplished them, as the 
Protestant author Wengierski, who possessed all 
the information requisite to form a judgment on 
that eminent character, emphatically calls him 
*^ great." He died in 1560, on the 8th January. 
On the whole, our information about the exertions 
be made after his return to Poland, in order to 
promote that great cause which he had advocated 
all his life, is very unsatisfactory, and we have 
much fewer details respecting that period of his 
life, than of the years he had spent in foreign 
countries. This scarcity of materials illustrative 
of the latter part of his life may be chiefly at- 
tributed to the careful destruction of all records 
relating to the Protestant doctrines and its chief 
promoters, which w^ systematically carried on 
by the Roman Catholic clergy, but particularly 
by the Jesuits. This must have been especially 
the case with Laski, as his descendants, having 
turned Romanists, have certainly endeavoured to 
destroy all that referred to the labours of their 


ancestor, whom they naturally considered as a 
promoter of heresy.* 

* Laski was twice married. His first wife^ a native of 
LoiiVain, died in London, in 1551. The second, named Ca- 
therine, was probably an Englishwoman ; at least he married 
her in England. He left nine children, but we know 
only the names of six of them : John, Samuel, Hieronymus, 
Thomas, Stanislav, and Barbara. One of his daughters was 
married to John Morsztyn, warden of the Salines of Bochnia 
and Vieliczka, and another to Stanislav Lutomirski. His son 
Samuel served with distinction in the wars of Stephen 
Batory, and was sent to Sweden in 1598 by Sigismund the 
Third, king of Poland and Sweden, with full powers to 
inquire into the dissensions between the senate and Charles 
duke of Sudermaland, then regent of the kingdom, and 
afterwards king under the name of Charles the Ninth. 
Samuel Laski decided, on that occasion, in favour of the 
senate, and foresaw the intentions of Charles to appropriate 
to himself the crown of his nephew. In 1605, he was 
commissioned by the king to arrange some differences which 
arose at Bantzic between the Lutherans and the followers 
of the Helvetic church. We have already mentioned Albert 
Laski, nephew of the reformer, (vide page 244), and we 
shall have further opportunity of doing so. The family of 
Laski, whose immense riches were exhausted by their 
ambitious projects, dwindled into insignificance^ and became 
Roman Catholic. There was a celebrated Jesuit, Martinus 
Laski, who persuaded the council of the city of Cracow to 
turn Roman Catholic, and who published many works replete 
with most scurrilous abuse against the Protestants; but 
we are unable to ascertain in what kind of relationship he 
stood to our reformer. 

We conclude our notice about Laski with the following evi- 
dences of the high estimation in which he was held by his con- 


temporaries. B. Amersbach calls (1527) Laski his patron. The 
celebrated philologer Beatus Rhenanus dedicated to him his edi- 
tion of Pliny's Natural History, saying : ** Ausus sum summo 
hermhumile opusctdum dicareJ' The Spanish reformer Dryander 
(Enzinas) expressed his admiration for Laski in the most 
glowing language. He says amongst others : '* insignes animi 
tut doles quas pene divinas et agnosco et venerory corporis 
nuyestatem vere heroicaniy gratUatem vultus suavitate conjunctamy 
religionem ittam stupendam ac dimnam ; humanissimam morum 
JacilUatemy liberalium omnium disciplinarum admirandam cogni- 
tionem, accuratam linguarum peritiem et copiam beatissimamy 
quibus omnibus divinitus donatus es pne cceteribus mortalibus 
1541." Vergerius addressed him ( 1555) in the following manner: 
*' Qualis siSy scio, quo genere, qud autoritate^ qua eruditioney qua 
pietate, quantum promoveris muUis in locis Evangelium^ utinam 
venisses ad me, susciperem te, summa non modo hUaritate sed 
veneratione." — Apud Gabbema. 

Laski maintained a learned and friendly intercourse with 
many eminent persons of his own as well as foreign countries. 
The celebrated Polish physician Struthius, who renewed, the 
first amongst the modems, the theory of pulsation, dedicated 
to Laski his translation of Lucian's Astrology, and he ad- 
dressed to him the following expressions ; ^^ tu es Mascenas 
meusy auctor studiorum meorum pradpuusy cui non satis visum 
erat me benevolenteanimo compkctij magnifids muneribus r^cere;** 
apud Janocki. 

We could adduce many other evidences of the high esti- 
mation in which Laski was held by the most eminent of his 
time, but we shall only add, that Orzechowski was so strongly 
moved by Laski that he said to him : << Vir Dei, tibi porrigo 





Although the convocation of a national synod, Demands of 

, 11 ^1 1* • J' 1111 the Polish Diet 

where all the religious parties should be repre- addressed to 
sentedy did not take place, the cause of the Re- TreSr"^* ^ 
formation gained a signal triumphiit the Diet of 
1556, whjidi. enac^^ by which every noble, 

could introduce into his house such a mode of 
w6r«fi1p*"'Tsrar1iethought proper, provided it was 
basedlJirthH^crtptilfeil The king sent, in the 
name of the same Diet, a letter to Pope Paul the 
Fourth at the council of Trent, demanding the 
concession of the five following points : — 

1 . That mass should be performed in the na- 
tional language. 

2. The communion of two kinds. 

3. The marriage of priests. 

4. The abolition of the Annates. 


5. The convocation of a national council, for 
the reform of abuses and the union of different 

It may be easily imagined that such bold pro- 
positions created the greatest alarm at the court 
of Rome, whilst its most jealous defenders were 
fully aware of the dangerous, and almost des- 
perate state of the Roman Catholic churchf in 
Poland. It had already despatched to that 
country in the preceding year (1555) one of its 
most devotfid tools, the well-known Aloysius 
Lippomani,{ in order to save, if possible, the 

* Frise's Beytrage zu der Reformation's Gescbichte, vol. i. 
page 258. 

f HosiuB requested, in 1557, the king to grant him permis^on 
to leave the country, or indeed to exile him, that he might not 
witness the fall of religion in Poland ; and he says in one of his 
letters, '* Pertcesum est, quandoquidem omni humano prcesidio 
videor esse destitvius. " — Epist. 12. 

X Lippomani was bom about 1500^ at Venice, from an 
ancient family, and was considered as one of the most learned 
Roman Cath<^c prelates of the sixteenth century. He occupied 
successively the episcopal sees of Modon^ Verona^ and Ber- 
gamo^ and was employed by the Popes on diplomatical 
missions, not only in Poland, but also in Germany and Portugal. 
He was also one of the presidents of the council of Trent. In 
1556 he became secretary to Pope Julius the Third, and died 
at Rome in 1559. His principal works are : 1. Commentaries in 
Latin on Genesis, Exodus, and the Psalms^ wherein he displays 
more erudition than criticism. 2. Viia sanctorum. 3. Esposi^ 
Hone sopra U simbolo apostolicoy il patre nostro esupra i due 
preceUi delta carita^ 4. Synodial Statutes and Sermons for the 



Roman Catholic church from its impending ruin AtriviA ef Lip. 

in Poland. The Pope despatched at the same !^Ll*" 

time letters to the king, the senate, and the most 

influential grandees, promising that he would 

effect all necessary reforms, and restore the unity 

of the church by a general council. The fallacy of 

such a promise was ably exposed by Vergerius,* 

in a letter addressed to the king, by whom he had 

been called to assist at the Diet of Warsaw in The foiiacy of 

1556. "A general council," says he " will never miw^To reform 

dat/s of Saints, S^c, Thuanus says that he was illustrious by 
his doctrine as well as by the innocence of his life^ consequently 
we may suppose that it was not his personal disposition, but his 
character of a Roman legate, which induced him to advocate 
sanguinary measures against the enemies of his church* 
Mafiei^ in his Verona lUustraiay devotes an article to Lippo- 
mani. Vide Biographic UniverseUe, article ' Lippomani.' 

* Vergerius was induced by Albert duke of Brandeburg and 
prince Radziwill to visit Poland, in order to promote in that 
country the cause of the Reformation. The Pope affirmed, and 
we think not unjustly, that the king was privy to this affair. 
Hosius wrote to the king that Vergerius^ ^^non ob aliam causam 
in regnum tuum veniat quam ut in eo seditionem conflaret, " 
Vergerius wrote a commentary on the letters addressed by the 
Pope to Tarnowski and the senate of Poland, full of strong and 
fundamental arguments. Vergerius wrote also against Hosius, 
of whose work he says : *' prodiitjurentissimus ei venenatis* 
svmus Osii Episcopi Famiensis liber in quo tantum execrabilis 
maledicentia, tantum mendaciorum, tantum virulentue, tantum 
denique blasphemiarum congestum JueritJ* For particulars 
about Vergerius^ vide McCrie's History of the Reformation in 


the church by B be coDToked. The Popes constantly promised 
and the dangers such councils, in ordcF to prevent the convocation 
country from of national independent synods. Paul the Fourth 
his legate, are having heard that Poland intended to reform its 
v^Jr^^^^ church of itself, had pledged himself that he 

would undoubtedly convoke a general synod. He 
strengthened his promise vi^ith the fisherman's 
seal, but has he kept it ? No, he has made a 
most infamous lie.* But should even such coun- 
cil be convoked, it cannot produce any effect. 
It will be composed of the Pope, the cardinals, 
patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and abbots ; 
and should those people, who are accused of 
being atheists and epicureans, become the 
judges of the church ? Such a council will be 
neither real, nor Christian, nor free. In such a 
case, all Christians who do not form a part of the 
clergy will remain aside ; they will have no 
influence, and will be reduced to mere obedience. 
Poland can expect nothing from such a council. 
There has never been a more propitious time for 
shaking off* the yoke imposed by Rome on the 
nations of the world. Never, indeed, have the 
states of your majesty's kingdom more unani- 
mously expressed a desire to effect a reformation 
of the church. Some few excepted, all are tired of 
popery, and wish to be delivered of its mire."t 

* Turpissime mentitus. 

f Nunquam enim sacra majestatis vestra regnum tanta om- 
nium ordine consensione ad reformaikmem ecclesiarum spectavit et 



In another part of the same epistle Vergerius 
speaks of Lippomani's arrival in the following 
manner : — *^ A man is now entering your realm 
who will destroy your wise and salutary designs; 
he will prevent a peaceful reformation of the 
church, and will disturb the kingdom ; when he 
sees that it will be impossible to prevent the 
convocation of a general synod, or to enslave it, 
he will proclaim in the name of the Pope some 
insignificant concessions, in order to preserve the 
real and great abuses/' The letter which tBe 
Pope wrote to Sigismund Augustus is full of the 
most bitter reproaches : — ^' If I am to credit the 
reports that reach me," says Paul the Fourth, "I Letter of the 
must feel the most profound grief, and even doubt mund Augus' 
of your and your realm's salvation. You favour ["g wm^h^s 
heretics, you assist at their sermons, you listen to iSe Prote".**^ 
their conversations, and you admit them to your **"**• 
company and board ; you receive their letters and 
write to them. You suflfer their works, sanc- 
tioned with your name, to be read and circulated. 
You do not forbid the heretical assemblies, con- 
venticles, and preachings. Are you not, therefore, 
yourself a supporter of the rebels and antagonists 
of the Catholic church, because, instead of op- 
posing, you assist them ? Can there be a greater 

suspiravit, de quo ac nunc, paucis quibusdam exceptis, omnes in 
summa, rerum papisticarum merito pertasi, cupiunt se eximi ex 
illius sentinis.*' Vergerii Epist, ad Serenis Poloniae Regeiij. 

VOL. I. U 


proof of your attachment to the heretics, when, 
contrary to your oath and to the laws of your 
country, you grant the first dignities of the state 
to infidels? Indeed you animate, you feed and 
spread heresy, by the favours you bestow on 
heretics. You have nominated, without waiting 
the confirmation of the apostolical see, the bishop 
ofChelm to the bishopric of Cujavia, although 
he is infected with the most abominable errors. 
The palatine of Vilna, a heretic, the defender 
and chief of heresy, is endowed by you with the 
first dignities of his country. He is chancellor 
of Lithuania, palatine of Vilna, the most intimate 
friend of the king, in private and in public, and 
may be considered in some measure as the co- 
regent of the kingdom and the second mo- 
narch. You have abolished the jurisdiction of the 
church, and you have allowed, by an enactment 
of the Diet, every one to have such preachers 
and such worship as he may choose. John 
Laski and Vergerius have arrived by your orders 
in this country. You have given to the inha- 
bitants of Elbing and Dantzig an authorization 
to abolish the Roman Catholic religion. Should 
my admonition against such crimes* and scandals 
be despised, 1 shall be obliged to make use of 
different and more powerful means. You ought 
to change your proceedings altogether ; give no 
faith to those who wish you and your realm 
to revolt against the church, and against true re- 


ligion. Execute the ordinances of your most 
pious ancestors. Abolish all the innovations 
which have been introduced into your kingdom. 
Restore to the church its suspended jurisdiction. 
Take from the heretics the churches which they 
have usurped. Expel the teachers who infect 
the country with impunity. What necessity 
have you to wait for a general council, when you 
possess ready and sufficient means to extirpate 
heresy? Should, however, our present admoni- 
tion remain without eflFect, we shall be obliged to 
make use of those arms, which the apostolical see 
never employs in vain against the obstinate 
rebels to its authority, God is our witness, that 
we have not neglected any means ; but as our 
letters, embassies, admonitions, and prayers have 
been without effect, we shall have recourse to the 
utmost severity."* 

* Vide Raynaldus ad annum 1556. The Pope wrote to 
queen Bona and to all the dergy^ exhorting them to save 
religion ; (ibid, ad 1555.) The primate and all the bishops 
received an order to prevent by all means the next Diet from 
enacting any law injurious to the church; (ibid, ad 1556.) Roman 
Catholic historians constantly accuse Sigismund Augustus of 
favouring heretics, so as to occasion the suspicion of the Pope 
about his orthodoxy :-"'^ Effuderat Sigismundus Augustus im* 
portuna henignitate ac facilitate^ licenticB habenas improhitati 
htereticorum adeo, ut in suspicionem venit apud Pontificem^ ne a 
majorum vestigiis ac pietate deflecteret, — ( Raynaldus ad an. 
1559.) Augustus cum par em patris, nee animum nee consilium in 
tuenda Catholica religione, ktereticis latum adytum patefecit. 
(Ibid ad annum 1563.) 

U 2 


The Pope's letter gives a good idea of the 
state in which Romanism was at that time in 
Poland, as well as of the advance which was 
made by the Protestants, and of the difficulties 
with which the legate of the apostolical see had 
to contend. He had indeed a very arduous mis- 
sion, and the Polish senate, principally composed 
of Protestants, hesitated for some time whether 
it should allow one who, like Lippomani, came 
with the avowed purpose of restoring the ancient 
order of religion in Poland, to enter the country. 
The king, who did not wish to break off already 
with Rome, and who does not seem to have at- 
tached a great importance to the arrival of the 
legate^ made no opposition to it. The Equestrian 
order was, however, much alarmed at the ap- 
pearance of Lippomani, and gave an injunction to 
tymaiiy of its representatives at the Diet, that they 
should take particular care that the presence of the 
legate might not produce any injury to the state. 
The arrival of Lippomani was indeed fraught 
Effects of with important consequences, and prevented a con- 
hiSf^'es^n' ciliatory approximation of the Roman Catholics 
Poland. ^jj. j^ jj^^ Protestants. He re-animated the wavering 

courage and fainting zeal of the Roman Catho- 
lic clergy. He increased the vacillations of the king, 
by the assurance that the apostolical see would con- 
firm such demands, the indispensability of which 
might be proved. His intrigues succeeded in fo- 
menting discord amongst the Protestants, and by 
this considerably weakened their party. He neu- 



tralized the activity of those moderate Reformers 
who <;ontinued to remain in the Roman Catholic 
church, expecting that a national synod would re- 
form its abuses, by assuring them, that a general 
council would introduce every necessary reform 
into the church, a measure by which many trou- 
bles and dissensions might be avoided.* 

The reception of the legate was not encourajging. 
He advised the king, at an audience, by what Headvigesthe 

®' , ' / kingtoextir- 

means heresy might be extirpated from his domi- pate heresy by 

treachery and 

nions. The monarch represented to the legate Woodshed, and 

excites against 

that the laws of the country forbade any violence Wmseif a gene- 

i*o| hatred 

and persecution: but Lippomani entreated him throughout aii 
to seize arbitrarily the leaders of the reformed 
party, and to execute them in a summary manner, 
because the Protestants, being deprived of their 
heads, would then have been easily exterminated. 
This conversation having become public, raised 
a violent hatred throughout the country against 
the legate, who was attacked by pamphlets and 
caricatures, and whose life was even exposed to 
danger, t 

• Vergerius justly condemned the advocates of those haif 
measures : — " NonnuUos esse qui sibi persuadeant, posse ratio- 
nem inveniri, qua et verus Del cultus, quern nos urgemus 
retineatur et tamen paparum ohedientia non excutiatur. Ego 
vero (tffirmo quod toto cceh errant" Epistola ad Serenissimum 
Regem Sigismundum Augustum. 

f The following compositions were published against the 
legate : *' Christiani Liberis Veracis carmen in Aloysium Lippe* 
manurn* — Prudentis Cackinnis epigrammaia de AL Lippomano 



Some Roman Catholic writers attest, however, 
that he obtained from the monarch a decree 
against the printers and booksellers of heretical 
works. This decree, which had no eflFect what- 
ever, and which was granted to the importunities 
of the legate, without attaching, as it seems, any 
value to it, is curious on account of the enumera- 
tion of the heresies which, according to it, at that 
time infested Poland. It mentions Picardians^ 
Bohemians, Anabaptists, Sacramentarians, and 
Augsburgians. It prohibited to print, to sell, 
and to import books written against Rome; but 
as it neither restored the jurisdiction of the 
ecclesiastical courts, nor invalidated the enact- 
ment which allowed every noble such Chris- 
tian worship as he might choose, it had virtually 
no eflFect.* 

Veneto quod Judeos Sochaczevia ob violaium panem Eucharistue 
aduri Jusserit" Vide infira^ the account of this melancholy 
event. The nuncios^ or deputies of the Equestrian order^ 
welcomed him, crying, Salve progenies viperarum, — Lubie- 
nacki, liber ii. cap. 4. 

* It was issued at Vilna the 1st March 1556. Friese^ vol. i. 
page 262, gives the words of that ordinance on the authority 
of Lipski'sDecad. page 121, as well as on that of the English 
Jesuit, Arturus, who wrote a treatise, **rfe ControversiU inter 
Ordinem Ecclesiasticum et Sacularem in Polonia.*' This book is 
exceedingly rare, but it was reprinted in some collections of eccle- 
siastical works. We confess we have great doubts about its truth ; 
but if true, Sigismund Augustus must have given it cmly in 
order to get rid of the importunities of the legate, being well 
aware that it could not produce any effect. 


Lippomani had the mortification to be present 
at the Diet of Warsaw, in 1556, where the above- 
mentioned law, which granted free exercise of re- 
ligious worship, was enacted, and he was convin- 
ced that he was unable to do any thing against the 
Protestants. He resolved, therefore, to strenghten 
at least the Roman Catholic party, by remov- 
ing all the misunderstandings and dissensions 
which disturbed the discipline of their church 
in Poland. It was necessary to rekindle the 
slackened zeal of the clergy, to amend their cor- 
rupted manners, to extirpate many abuses, and 
reinvigorate its relaxed discipline. To effect Roman catho- 
this object Lippomani and the archbishop lowIcz. 
Dzierzgowski convoked a synod at Lowicz in 
the month of September 1556. The attention 
of the whole country was soon drawn to that 
synod, and many persons expected that the clergy 
would of themselves introduce the necessary 
reforms. These hopes were not without some 
foundation, because there were even amongst 
the bishops some eloquent advocates of a reform. 
Indeed, the Polish church clearly saw its defects 
and its dangerous condition. These hopes might 
perhaps have been realized without the presence 
of the legate, because, if the synod could act in an 
independent manner, it would have been pro- 
bably influenced by the general bent of the na- 
tional opinion. An additional proof that such a 
supposition is not without some foundation, was 



the spirit of independence which the above-men- 
tioned synod of Lowicz manifested at the opening 
of its meetings. 

The synod was composed of the bishops of 
Cracow, Posnania, Plotzk, Przemysl, and Ca- 
mieniec, who came themselves. The bishop of 
Chelm, on account of his illness, and the arch- 
bishop of Leopol, on account of his great age, 
sent deputies ; the bishops of Lithuania did the 
same.* Besides the bishops every chapter dele- 
gated two canons to the same synod. It seems, 
however, that the Roman Catholic clergy them- 
selves did not attach any great value to that 
convocation, as the archbishop was obliged to 
compel their attendance, by threatening those 
who would not appear, by mulcts, and by report- 
ing their names to the Roman see. The first 
meetings of the synod were marked by conside- 
rable dissensions between the higher and the 
shoTorinde- ^^^^^ clergy, and by the jealousy which that 
pendence; asscmblv manifested as^ainst the Roman legate. 

which IS, how- ^ o o 

ever, soon over- It was rcsolved that the leffate should have no 

come by the , ^ ^ ^ 

intrigues of voicc at the deliberations of the synod, and that 

Lippomani. , 

he should not even be permitted to assist as a 
silent witness at its debates, but that he was only 
to receive a detailed account of the proceedings 

* Vergerius says, that the synod of Lowicz was composed 
of fifteen bishops, but he gives not their names ; vide Epist. ad 
•Sigismundum Augustum. 




of every meeting. The legate rejected such a 
resolution, as being contrary to the laws, and 
without precedent. He encountered, however, a 
very strong opposition, and would certainly have 
been excluded from the deliberations of the 
synod, if he had not taken advantage of the 
dissensions which prevailed between the •higher 
and the lower clergy. He proposed to act as 
umpire between the two parties, by which he 
necessarily obtained a voice at the deliberations of 
the synod ; in this manner, he not only removed 
the opposition to his presence, but he soon 
acquired a complete influence over that assembly, 
which disappointed all the hopes of the reform 
which its show of independence had given for 
some time to many people. The synod being now 
entirely under the influence of Rome, enacted 
some regulations entirely conformable to the in- 
terests of Rome, and productive of no real reform.* 
The most remarkable transactions of that 
assembly are the observations made by it on 
the state of the Roman Catholic church in 
Poland, and on the causes which had ^disturbed 
its peace. Although written strictly in a Roman 
Catholic sense, it expresses with a great spirit 

* The synod enacted thirty -nine regulations, which were 
published by Vergerius, and dedicated to Bonar^ castellan of 
Biecz^ December 1556. The book is exceedingly rare. 


of liberty, and without any attempt at conceal- 
ment, the faults of the Polish clergy, as well as 
those of the Roman see. 
Remarkable " The beginning of the troubles," says the synod, 

SCf s^^'"' " has been caused by the carelessness of the paro- 
SX r! cT chial as well as of the higher clergy ; but the apos- 
jSiTwd ^r tolical-see has also committed many errors : it has 
corroption!* neglected the dangers, and remained indiflFerent 

to them. It did not send ambassadors to the 
king, in order to obtain from him the execution 
of the laws against the innovators. It has long 
time delayed the convocation of a general council. 
It has granted to the monarchs extensive privi- 
leges, contrary to the interests of the church, and 
rendered them more daring (insolentiores) ; a 
bad distribution of the dignities has done the 
greatest harm to the clergy. The inactivity and 
supineness of the bishops have greatly increased 
the troubles of the church, and produced the 
greatest injury to the clergy. Although endowed 
with great authority in religious and political 
affairs, they knew not how to fulfil the duties of 
either in a worthy manner, but have entirely neg- 
lected them. They have oppressed their subjects 
in a cruel manner, they ordered them to work even 
on holidays, surpassing even the nobles in their 
oppression of the peasants.* The bishops have 

T ■ -- - ■ -, ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■■■■■■ ■■^^^i^—^ 

* f' Durcu exactiones H deputationes ; daminicis acfestU diebus 
COS laborare cogendo et hand parum illis videtur, ut nobilibus 



not watched the progress of the usurpations of the 
royal power, but, on the contrary, they favoured 
it, in order to get preferment.* Being often 
transferred from one bishopric to another, they 
were often unacquainted with the sees of their 
dioceses. They acted with great leniency towards 
the promoters of heresy, and even received them 
in their own palaces with great kindness, and 
instead of punishing, they secretly defended 
them. They have not even refused their hos- 
pitality to excommunicated persons. They wil- 
lingly consented to suspend the excommunications, 
and would be glad to see them entirely abolished. 
They have greatly injured, by all this, the autho- 
rity of the Pope and the rights of the church. 
They have never employed any real severity, and 
one of them has publicly said in the assembly 
of the nobles, * Let people believe what they 
like, provided I receive my income.' t Such con- 
duct of the bishops has produced adequate re- 
sults. The revenues of the church have been 
seized; the priests have been driven from the 
churches, which are given to preachers of heresy; 

kdc in re pares sint^ nunc etiam superanl illos muUis naminibus*' 
Vide Mansi. 

* " Ascensiones in corde meditatUur semper, sed non in montem 
Dei" — Mansi. 

t ** Credat quisque, ut velit, modo reditus mei integri sini" 
— Mansi. 


Christian ministry is no longer entrusted to learn- 
ing and virtue, but to such as have connexions, 
and are sometimes mere youths, or almost child- 
ren, and vrho will not even endue the garment of 
the priest,* We must not conceal our own faults. 
The regular and secular clergy are infected with 
the utmost profligacy of manners. They are ad- 
dicted to luxury, avarice, debauchery, idleness, 
carelessness ; and, what is worse, the priests have 
no knowledge of the law of God-t 

♦ " Nee vestiuntur habitu elericorutn," — Mansi, ibid. 

t Stanislaci^Xossobudzki, a zealous but conscientious Roman 
Catholic^ ^ho called the Protestants brigands and robbers of 
the churchy speaks, in a letter addressed to Kamkowski^ primate 
of Poland, 1st December 1572, of the Roman Catholic clergy 
of Poland in the following manner : ** Mir art plerumque mihi 
subUy rum admodum prudentem aliquorum persuasionem, qui 
dissensiones religionisjerro ac flamma cokiberi, certe posse existi- 
mant : cum citius humanam naiuram dissolvere, quam ingenitum 
rdigionis amor em ex animis hominum evellere possint — nunquam 
deploratas atque perditas res esse ecclesicB, atque nunc sunt-^faU 
catur necesse est : cur omnia moventes nihil provehetis ? In hu" 
manis tantum confidetis prcesidiis, Quomodo Christus doctrinam 
pairis ccelestis propagavit ? nostis : non ille armato stipatus 
exercitu ; non auro non gemmis splendens apparuit, sed pauper 
in pauperi tigurio natus^ totum terrarum orbem sua subJecU 
potestati, Nemini vim intulit, neminem coegit ut sequeretur. Fun" 
damenta EcclesuB prasul amplissimey verbum Dei, bona opera, 
orationes" He further describes the instruction which the 
Roman Catholic clergy gave to the people in their sermons * 
^' Aniles magisjabulas quam verbum Dei pradicarint, pudicitiam, 
devotionem caterasque virtutes a domo Dei exulasse* Inane 
Jidei nomen relictum — declinavimus viam dominis, sequimur volun-- 



" Since the destruction of our authority the old 
hatred of the nobles against our order is awa- 
kened. The nobles join heresy in crowds, in 
order to seize the property of the church. Reli- 
gious innovation is much increased by the favour 
of the king, who grants the dignities of the state 
equally to heretics and Christians. He permits 
foreign academies, which are the known hod-bets 
of heresy, to be frequented by Polish students. 
He permits also every kind of book to be printed. " 

After having described the state of the Roman 
Catholic religion in Poland, the synod suggested 
the following means for restoring the authority 
of the church, and for exterminating heresy : 
" There ought always to be a nuncio of the apo- 
stolical see at the court of the king, in order to 
prevent the monarch from supporting heresy, and 
from granting liberties and privileges contrary 
to the interests of the church. The nomination 
of the bishops should be restored to the chapters. 
The dignities of the church should be entrusted 
to persons capable of fulfilling their duties ; but 
above all, it is necessary to enforce a proper and 
Catholic reform of the manners of the clergy, and 

tates nostras ; ejicimus justitianiy operamur iniquitatem — ut vi- 
dentes homines opera vestra bona et doctrince conscientiamy Deum 
esse in vobis pronunciare possint—^epravatissimos mores corrigen- 
dos" He concludes his letter by saying : *' diocesis tua hareti- 
corum commuui lahe ahundet" (vide Sirinium Antiquarium vol. 
V. p. 812, 376.) 


of the different abuses to which it is now sub- 
ject.* The bishops must expel the heretics from 
their courts, and never receive them^t They 
must visit the libraries, and prohibit the printers 
from publishing heretical works. 

"The nobles should be restricted by severe 
penalties from circulating heretical books. It is 
necessary to obtain from the king that he should, 
at least for the future, restrain all those incon- 
ceivable impieties ; that he should prohibit here- 
tical meetings, which constantly take place every 
where; that he should defend the churches from 
being taken by heretics, and the possessions of 
the clergy from being robbed by them ; that he 
should clean his court from heresy, and grant no 
favour to heretics ; but if the king should refuse to 
comply with these proposals, the bishops ought 
to leave the senate, and take no part in the deli- 
berations of the affairs of the state. It is also 
necessary to request the Pope to admonish the 
king, and adopt such measures as are generally 
taken against those who have abandoned the 
church. It is necessary to renew the ordinance 

* '* CathoUca et Modesto pro iemporUms congruensjiat reform 
matio inter ecdesiasticas personas morum et ahusuum, neminem 
esse, qui non videai clerum reformatione in vita, moribus, ac toto 
suo statu egere*' — Mansi. 

f " Ex curiis suis pellant hereticos ;" ibid. There have been^ 
indeed, very many instances in Poland of Roman Catholic 
bishops maintaining a friendly intercourse with Protestants. 


which prohibited Polish students from frequent- 
ing foreign schools. The bishops ought to be 
always present at the elections of the nobles, and 
endeavour to prevent all but good Roman Catho- 
lics from being returned as nuncios to the Diet." 

Finally, the synod expressed a wish that a 
general council, convoked in an independent 
place (in loco lihero), should pacify the dissen- 
sions which agitated the church, by introducing 
into it the necessary reforms. 

Although this synod produced no consequences 
whatever, neither enacted any positive laws, it is 
very remarkable, by the bold manner in which it 
denounced the evils which afflicted the church, 
and expressed the necessity of reforming them ; 
and it may be supposed that; had its delibe- 
rations been carried on in an independent 
manner^ and free from the influence of the legate, 
it would have eflfected some very salutary reforms ; 
and even perhaps, if it had followed the deve- 
lopment of an independent spirit, which seemed 
to have for some time animated its members, 
it would have shaken off the Papal domination 
from the church of Poland. 

The synod, or rather the legate who directed The synod fails 

11 'a t a • 1 At J. • X i in its attempt 

all its proceedings, tned on that occasion to assert at prosecuting 
the rights of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction. As prf^gt, ^^^ 
the decrees of the ecclesiastical courts did no 
longer affect the nobles, they chose for their 
victim one of their refractory priests. Stanislav 


Lutomirski, canon of Przemysl and rector of 
Konin^ was cited on a suspicion of heresy. This 
summons was regularly attended by Lutomirski, 
who took advantage of it, as being a fit oppor- 
tunity for publicly declaring his Protestant opi- 
nions. He arrived with a large number of 
influential friends, each of whom was provided 
with a bible, as the most efiicient arms against 
Romanism. The synod did not dare to open 
the prosecution against such a bold antagonist of 
the Roman church, and the doors of the hall 
where he was to be tried were closed to the 
accused and his friends.* 
Judicial murder Haviug failed to asscrt its jurisdiction in a case 
^^TTi^^on of heresy, the synod tried it with a lamentable 
one ChriTtin*** succcss iu that of a sacrilegc. In order to have 

a better chance of attaining their object, the 
clergy chose now their victim amongst the in- 
ferior classes of society. Dorothy Lazecka, a 
poor girl, was accused of having obtained from 
the Dominicans of Sochaczewf a host, feigning to 
receive communion. It was said that she wrapped 
that host in her clothes, and sold it afterwards 
to the Jews of a neighbouring village for three 
dollars and a gown embroidered with silk. This 
host was said to have been carried by the Jews to 

* Friese, vol. i. page 264. 

t A little town between Lowicz and Warsaw, thirty- eight 
English miles from that capital. 





the synagogue, where beiiig pierced with needlesi, 
it emitted a quantity of blood, which was col- 
lected into a flask and preserved for some reli- 
gious rites. Notwithstanding the absurdity of 
this accusation, the legate seized that occurrence, 
which according to Roman Catholic authors most 
opportunely happened,* in order to prove by a ^ 

miracle the reality of the transubstantiation, and y \ 
that the communion of two kinds was quite 
unnecessary, as the host contained the blood as 
well as the body of Christt The Jews tried in 
vain to prove the absurdity of the charge, ar- 
guing, that as their religion permitted them not 
to believe the mystery of the transubstantiation, 
they could never be supposed to try a similar 
experiment on the host, which they considered 
as a mere wafer. The synod, influenced by Lip- 
pomani, condemned them, as well as the un- 
fortunate woman, to be burnt alive. This ini- 
quitous sentence could not, however, be put into 
execution without the exequatur of the king. 

* '^ Commode accidit/* says Starowolski in liis Epitoma Syna^ 
dorum; ^^ Commodissime illud eo tempore in Polonia accidit" 
Raynaldus ad annum 1556. These confessions of Romanist 
ivriters speak volumes. 

t The following evidence on this subject is given by a zealous 

Roman Catholic writer. '< Effecit Lippomanus ut de sacrilega 

pueUa et Judeis supplicium sumeretur, et qucestio a laicis propo-- 

i sUa de usu caUds divino miraculo rfe;Wicard«r."— Starowolski 

' Epitomae Synodor. 

VOL. I, X 


which could uot be expected to be obtained from 
the enlightened Sigismund Augustus. The 
bishop of Chelin, Przerembski, who was at the 
same time vice-chancellor of Poland, made a 
report to the king of the above-mentioned case, 
which he described in expressions of a pioi]^ 
horror, and entreated the monarch not to allow 
that such a crime committed against the divine 
majesty should go unpunished. Myszkowski, a 
grand dignitary of the crown, who was a Pro- 
testant, became so indignant at this report that 
he could not restrain his anger, and was only 
prevented by the presence of the king from 
using violence against the prelate,* the impiety 
and absurdity of whose accusation he exposed 
in strong language. The monarch declared that 
he would not believe such absurdities, and sent 
an order to the starost of Sochaczew to release 
the accused party ; but the vice-chancellor 
forged the exequatur, by attaching the royal 
seal without the knowledge of the monarch, and 
sent an order that the sentence of this synod 

* Myszkowski said to Przerembski on that occasion : " Eg<y 
nequicquam Deum irrideo, sed v^tras calumnias, fubulas ac 
nuncia vanitatis plena^ qua spargistis et ad aures regis deferlis, 
nee divinam nee regiam majestatem reverentes et ad omnem 
fraudem, exuto non tandem Dei metu sed et pudore projecUh 
Deum ego metuo et vereor et quis sU scio, ac certus sum, cum 
est spirituSf ac nullibus sensibus attingi posset tantommus artibus 
vet manibus configi posse'* — ^Lubieniecki* 


should be immediately carried into execution- 
The king was informed of the forgery, and he 
instantly despatched a messenger to prevent its 
effects. It was however too late, and the act, 
to stigmatize which we have no adequate ex- 
pression, was perpetrated before the arrival of 
the royal message. 

This atrocity filled all Poland with horror, and 
the hatred which the legate had already inspired 
became still more increased. It also consi- 
derably strengthened the anti- Romanist feeling 
amongst the nation, by showing what the country 
had to expect if the Roman Catholic party were 
to crush its antagonists. Lippomani having now 
become the object of a general hatred, left the 
country, followed by the national execration. 

We must not omit mentioning the attempt Correspon. 
which was made by the legate at converting the Lippomani and 
leader of the Protestant party, prince Nicholaus ^^* 
Radziwill, who by his intimate friendship with 
the monarch, his high station and riches, was the 
most in&iential grandee of his time in Poland. 
He addressed to him a letter in which he feigned 
to disbelieve his heresy, although Radziwill 
openly professed the reformed religion. After 
having quoted many reports of Radziwill's he- 
resy, he asked him whether he was to believe them 
to be true. " The public rumour," says he, 
" expresses that the palatine of Vilna patronizes 
all heresies, and that all the dangerous innovators 

X 2 


are gathering under bis protection ; that he erects^ 
wherever his influence reaches, sacrilegious altars 
against the altar of God, and that he establishes 
pulpits of falsehood against the pulpits of truth." 
He reproached him further for introducing the 
communion of two kinds, abolishing the worship 
of the saints and the prayers for the dead, and 
concluded, after having enumerated many similar 
accusations, with the compliment, that if Radzi- 
will had only abandoned heresy and returned 
into the pale of the Roman church, he would 
have been the most perfect of men, as he was 
possessed of every quality and virtue, and was 
deficient only in true religion. Radziwill replied 
to that letter in an epistle couched in rather vio- 
lent language, answering each of his objections 
by arguments intermingled with severe animad- 
versions against the Roman church.* 

* This remarkable correspondence was published at Konigs«< 
berg in 1556^ with a long preface by P. P. Vergerius, under the 
title *' DtuB EpistoUe altera Aloysii Lippomani Veneti, Episcop. 
Verona, RoTnani Pontificis in Polonia Legati, ad Illustrissimum 
Principem D. Nicolaum . Radzimlium, Palatinum Filnensem* 
Altera vero ejusdem Illustrissimi D. Radzivili ad Episcopum et 
Legatum ilium, lectu dignissimcB, si ulke Juerunt nostra atate" 
The answer of Radziwill was written by the same Vergerius. 

Radziwill (Nicholas the IVth of that name), grand chan« 
cellor and grand general of Lithuania^ and palatine of Vilna^ 
was a very remarkable man. He travelled in his youth into 
most parts of Europe, and was so skilful in bodily exercises, 
that he surpassed in this respect all the gentlemen of his time. 



The synod of Lowicz, instead of restoring the 
cause of Romanism, rather injured it. It mani- 
fested the weakness of the Roman clergy, and 

He was brother to Barbara^ the first queen of Sigismund Au- 
gustus/and possessed the unlimited confidence of that monarch* 
He distinguished himself in many wars, but particularly 
against the German knights of Livonia. When he was sent 
ambassador to Charles the Vth and Ferdinand king of the 
Romans^ he stood godfather to the archdukeEmest. The uncom- 
promising zeal with which he advocated the cause of the Refor- 
mation^ is evident from the strong language he made use of, 
in his dedication to Sigismund Augustus of the first Protestant 
Bible published at his expense at Brest in Lithuania^ in 1563, 
where he says amongst others: " But if your majesty (which 
may God avert), continuing to be deluded by this worlds un- 
mindful of its vanity, and fearing still some hypocrisy^ will 
persevere in that error which according to the prophecy of 
Daniel, that impudent priest^ the idol of the Roman temple, 
the now manifest disturber of Christian peace and sower of 
tares, had made abundantly grow in his infected vineyard, 
like a true and real antichrist; if your majesty will follow to 
the end that blind chief of a generation of vipers, and lead us 
the faithful people of God the same way, it is to be feared that 
the Lord mighty for such a rejection of his truth, condemn 
us all with your majesty to shame^ humiliation, and destruc- 
tion, and afterwards to an eternal perdition." His lady, Eli- 
sabeth Szydlowiecki, zealously assisted his pious efforts to 
spread the pure word of God. He died in 1(567, and wa« 
borne to the grave by his four sons. Thuanus says that they 
all turned Roman Catholics ; (vide Thuan^ lib. xxxviii.) One 
of them, Nicholaus^ became celebrated by his pilgrimage to 
the Holy Land^ a description of which was published. He 
purchased all the copies he could get of his father's Bible, and 
burnt them publicly in the market-place of Vilna. George 



gave, by the execution of the Jews and of the 
unfortunate woman Lazecka, a proof of what 
would have been their oroceedinss if they had 

ent6red the churdi, and became a cardinal. Albert and Stani- 
slav occupied eminexit situadons in their country. His coufiin, 
Christophor Radziwill^ likewiae unbraced the Protestant rdi"- 
gion, and the motives which induced him to take that step 
deserve a particular notice. It is said that, being extremely 
sorry that his rdative had abandoned the Romim church, he 
went to Rome, and paid iJl imaginable honours to the Pope, 
who acknowledged his fidelity by the present of a box filled 
with relics. When he returned to his country, the fame of 
these relics spread abroad, and some friars came and told him 
that a man was possessed by the devil who had he&i exorcised 
to no purpose ; they ihereCare besought him, for the sake of 
that unhappy wretch, to lend them the precious rdics which 
he had brought from Rome. This was readily granted, and 
the relics were carried to church by a solemn procession. They 
were deposited on the altar^ and on the appointed day the 
experiment was made in the presence of a large multitude. 
It succeeded perfectly well ; and as soon as the relics were 
applied, the evil spirit left the body of the man with the usual 
postures and grimaces. Every one cried out, *' a miracle ! " and 
Radziwill lifted up his hioids and eyes to heaven, to return 
thanks for his having broug^ so holy a thing, which performed 
such miracles. But some days afterwards, when he was in 
that admiration and transport of joy, and was bestowing the 
greatest eulogiums on the virtue of those relics^ he observed 
that a young gentleman of his household who had the keeping 
of that treasure began to smile and make certain gestures, 
which shewed that he was laughing at his words. Radziwill 
fiew into a passion, and would know the reason of his derision. 
A promise being made to this gentleman that no harm should 
be done to him^ he declared that on their return frc»n Rome 



regained the upper'^hand in Poland. The Pro- 
testant party grew every day bolder, and at the 
Diet of Piotrkow in 1659, an attempt was made 

he had lost the box with the relics entrusted to his care, and 
that, for fear of being punished for his neglect, he had got 
another box similar to that whidi had been lost^ and filled it 
with little bones of some animals; and that therefore he could 
not help laughing* seeing the virtues ascribed to it« Radziwill, 
wishing to ascertain the reality of that imposture^ sent for the 
monks^ and desired them to inquire whether there were no 
more demoniacs who wanted the assistance of his relics* After 
a few days they brought him another man possessed by the 
£vil spirit^ who made extraordinary contortions. Radziwill 
ordered them to perform in his presence the ordinary exor- 
cisms ; but which having proved ineffectual^ he sent away the 
monks, and ordered the demoniac to remain in his house. 
When the priests were gone, Radziwill put the demoniac into 
the hands of his Tartar grooms, who exhorted him to confess 
the imposture ,* but when he persisted in making his furious 
gestures^ they imposed on him a severe castigation with rods 
and scourges; the wretch confessed his imposture, and that 
he never was possessed^ but only forced by the monks to play 
such a part. Radziwill sent fbr the monks, who at first im« 
plored him not to believe the man's confession^ because it was 
the devil who spoke by his mouth; but Radziwill answered, 
that if his Tartars were able to make the devil speak the truth, 
they would be able to extort it from the friars. The monks ^ , 
were forced to confess their imposture, but excused themselves 
by pretending that they had done all this with a good intention, 
and in order to check the progress of heresy. These pious 
frauds raised great doubts in Radziwill's mind about the truth 
of a religion defended by such means, and he began to study 
the scriptures. After six months spent in reading and prayer, 



to deprive the bishops of the senatorial dignities, 

on account of their oath of fidelity to the Pope, 

which was necessarily in direct opposition to 

their duty to their country, Ossolinski, who made 

this motion, read publicly the formula of the 

above-mentioned oath, explaining its dangerous 

tendency to the interests of the country, and 

concluded by saying, that if the bishops fulfilled 

the obligations to which they were bound by that 

oath, they were traitors and not guardians of the 

state, t 

The convoca- The motiou was not carried, probably because 

tlonai 8^!Sd 21 general reform of the church was soon expected 

the b"^e8 of *^ t^^® place, It was in order to accelerate such 

Se"i^te ^"'' a reform, that the Diet of 1563 passed a resolution 

the Pope. |.|j2^j ^ general synod representing all the religious 

parties should be convoked. Its convocation, al- 
though much favoured by the archbishop Uchan- 
ski, was however prevented by the legate of the 

he publicly embraced the Protestant religion, with all his family. 
(Vide Bayle, art. ' Badziwill.') Regenvolscius, or Wengierski, 
gives to that Radziwill who was induced to become Protestant 
by detecting a fraud of the Roman Catholics, the name of 
Nicholaus. He was distinguished by the surname of Rufus, 
and his descendants persevered in the Protestant communion, till 
the last of them, Louisa princess palatine of Neubourg, turned 
Roman Catholic towards the end of the seventeenth century. 
The family of Radziwill was invested with the title of princes 
of the Roman empire in 1518. 

t " Episcopi sunt non cushdes sed prodUores reipubliae." 


Pope, Commendoni,* who succeeded by his ma- 

• Gratiani^ the biographer of Commendoni, gives the follow- 
ing account of this affair: — <*The chiefs of the heretics, who 
were the first noblemen of the country, being powerful by 
themselves, and having great influence at the court and 
amongst the nation, sought the more to strengthen their party^ 
as they saw that Commendoni was acting strongly for the 
Roman Catholics. They directed all their efforts in order to 
convoke a national council, where they might determine the 
religious affairs according to the customs and interests of the 
state, and without the participation of the Pope ; "(a most impor- 
tant confession of a zealous Romanist, that the interests of the 
state are contrary to those of the Pope). *^ They had at their 
disposal an archbishop (Uchanski), who by his dignity was 
equally influential in the senate as well as amongst the clergy, 
and whose hopes they flattered with their promises. Uchanski 
had also much at heart the same project, for reasons which we 
have already stated ;" (he expected to be the hea dof an indepen- 
dent Polish church ; vide the same work, page 186) ; <^ and it 
occupied his thoughts day and night ; he had secret conferences 
on that subject with an intimate friend of his, who was of a 
low origin, but who had made himself known by his invectives 
against the Roman Catholic church, against which he had 
written several volumes. Commendoni discovered the designs 
and intrigues of Uchanski and the heretics ; and as he applied 
himself to destroy all their measures, he resolved to dissimulate 
all that he had learned about it, because he did not think pro- 
per to irritate, in that state of affairs, a man who was of great 
importance by his riches, his dignity, and his connexions with 
the adversaries, and who would have openly declared for them 
if he had thought that his designs were discovered. He was 
the more to be feared, as the king was very much inclined to 
assemble the clergy according to the impressions which were 
given to him, and which it was difficult to take away from his 



cbinations to delay it, but perhaps even more by 
the dissensions which agitated the Protestant 

mind. Canunendoni employed for that purpose all his dili- 
gence and dexterity, and he frequently admonished the monarch 
that the public peace and his own authority was in danger ; 
that all the rights that he should concede to the heretics^ and to 
the blind and seditious mob^ would be followed by the los9 
of as many rights belonging to himself. That if, with all the 
power of laws and with*all the ordinances and precedents, it was 
almost impossible to restrain them, what dangers might n<A 
arise if an appearance of justice should be given to their bad 
intentions? That two years ago the king of France, who was 
then still a child, was induced by the weakness of his mother, 
and by the insincere advice of his ministers, to show the same 
condescension, and assisted himself with the queen at the collo- 
quium of Poissy, as if he had been the arbiter of the differences 
and controversies of the church. That this assembly was the 
source of great divisions, and became a trumpet which had 
excited the minds of the people to the revolt; that this disputa- 
tion contributed only to the increase of the violence and fury of 
the civil wars." 

By this advice he dissuaded the king from the project of 
assembling a national synod. This prince loved tranquillity, 
and feared nothing so much as disturbances and revolts in his 
states : therefore, when the matter was brought forward in the 
senate, he interrupted the proposition, and protested that it was 
not for him to decide any thing in ecclesiastical matters. Many 
bishops and senators defended, on that occasion, the cause of 
religion with great zeal. Stanislav Wolski, castellan of Rava, 
strenuously maintained that it did not belong to the particular 
assemblies of one nation to decide about the duties of a religion, 
and to determine the rules of Christian piety, on which de- 
pended the salvation of all Christians; that these matters 
should be settled according to the ancient canons by general 

councils ; 


party, and which produced great barm to the 
cause of the ReformatioiL* 

During the above-mentioned attempts in Po- 

* " ' ^-^— - ...■■■«.. ■ — .. - - --. . . . . ■ . _ 

councils ; and he conclnded by addreflfiing the monarch in the 
following words : << For my part, sire» I most heartily acknow* 
ledge you as my sovereign, but at the same time I unhesita- 
tingly declare, that I will never acknowledge you as my Pope.** 
Uchanski dared not to act openly in favour of the heretics, and 
Commendoni maintained him in his duty to the Pope by his 
exhortations, and by opposing to him other bishops who resist- 
ed him. This archbishop gave sometimes, in the senate, very 
salutary advice, and feigned from time to time to have quarrels 
with the heretics in order to conceal the better his real senti* 
ments, and to make show of an apparent zeal for the church, 
which caused the heretics to begin to suspect him. Commendoni 
entertained secretly these suspicions, and availed himself with 
great prudence of all these circumstances. (Vide Life of Com- 
mendoni by Gratiani, French translation, page 213 and fol- 
lowing.) '^ PermuUi hereticorum fautores summa moliebantur 
opcy ut consilium gentis quod nationale vocantf cogeretuTf in quo, 
sine uUa authoritate pontificis maximi de universa religume prout 
ex ipsorum usu et Republica visum esset^ constitueret.'^'^B^aynaX' 
dus ad ann. 1563. 

* Albert Laski, nephew of the reformer, turned Roman 
Catholic in 1569, and gave as the chief reason of his change 
of religion, the dissensions amongst the Protestants ; it seems 
however, that love was the real motive of his apostasy. The 
same unfortunate dissensions, and principally the anti-Trini- 
tarian doctrines, which began to spread at that time, induced 
many influential persons to return into the pale of the Ro- 
man Catholic church; such were John Chodkiewicz, starost 
of Samogitia ; Andreas Zborowski, Abraham Zbonski, des^ 
cendant of the Hussite leader of that name, (vide page 81), 
and several others. 



Poland takes 
DO part in the 
council of 
Trent, and 
opposes its 

land to reform its church by a national synod, 
the council of Trent was concluding its labours. 
It is well known that, although it usurped the 
name of an cecumenic or universal council, it 
represented only the strict Roman Catholic party; 
and that the attempts which were made by a 
few individuals to propose some real reforms had 
no chance of success against the preponderant 
influence of Rome.* We have already mentioned 
the legation which was intended to have been 
sent from Poland to that council, but which was 
prevented by circumstances from taking placcf 
It may be said that the council of Trent remain- 
ed entirely foreign to Poland, because even the 
Roman Catholic party of that country was not 
represented there ; the Polish bishops being too 
much occupied in defending their dioceses from 
the growing attacks of Protestantism, dared not 
leave them, and demanded the authorization of 
giving their votes at the council by proxy. This 
demand was, however, refused by the Pope : who 
had indeed good reasons for denying it, because 
had he authorized the bishops to give their votes 
by proxy, those belonging to different nations 
would have obtained a great majority over the 

* As, for instance, Dudithius, or Dudycz^ of whom we shall 
speak hereafter^ defended the communion of two kinds ; the 
Bavarian ambassador demanded the marriage of priests. 

t Vide page 218, 


Roman and other Italian prelates who were 
present at the council — a circumstance which 
might expose the Roman see to consequence^ 
similar to those it had experienced from the 
councils of Constance and Basil, and which it 
carefully sought to avoid. The absence of Po- 
lish prelates at the council made the Roman 
court uneasy, and it obtained from the king, that 
he sent Herburt, bishop of Przemysl, as his 
ambassador to the council, who extolled, at one 
of its meetings, the piety and orthodoxy of his 
monarch in the most glowing terms.* 

He was, however, only the ambassador of the 
king himself, and he did by no means represent 
the Diet, which should have given its authoriza- 
tion for so important an object; and the learned 

* " Pietatisy tanto quantus esse maximus potest, lucet splendore. 
Quantum e-vstat ejus studium in vera religione augenda, dila- 
tanda ? Quanta studio contendat et elaboret, ut hcec lues tetra 
quiB nostra sceculo plerasque provincias Europea pervagata est, eo 
minus fundititis evelli saltern reprimi et sapiri queat" Labbeus. 
Herburt had evidently much more at heart to maintain the 
honour of the orthodoxy of his monarch, than was consistent 
with truth. Hosius, who was one of the presidents of the 
council of Trent, had quite a different opinion on this subject, 
as he wrote about Sigismund Augustus what follows : " Sdo 
quodjert, Regia majestas, non solum Lutheristas et confessumis* 
las, verum et Calvinistas, et Anabaptistas et Trideistas et omuem 
hcBreticorumfecem^ volente Regia majestate, nostras homines, non 
ita procul ab Mahametana perfidia abesse*'^ — Hosii Epistolse 
167. ann. 1572. 


historian of the council of Trent justly observes^ 
that Poland was not represented at that as- 

The statutes of the council of Trent were 
brought to Poland by cardinal Commendoni, 
who tried to make them accepted at the Diet of 
Parczow in 1564. He addressed the king in 
the assembled senate in a long speech, praising 
the Roman Catholic religion and the council 
of Trent, and deprecating religious innovation. 
The archbishop Uchanski advised, in a speech 
in which he paid great compliments to the Pope 
and the fathers of the council, to accept politely 
the book offered by the Roman legate, vdthout 
giving any positive answer, until the king should 
have read it and examined it with his council. 
An animated discussion ensued, and the debates 
were interrupted without coming to any conclu- 
sion ; but the chancellor informed the legate that 
the king personally received the above-mentioned 
statutes, and that he would submit to their pro- 

* Herburt confessed it himself in the above-mentioned 
speech^ saying : " Tenere non potuit quin hoc orator em suum non 
expectaiOy ea de re comitiali decreto delegaret — in veteri more ac 
instituto regni hoc positum sit, ut de decernendis mittendisque 
legationilms in eomitiis regni suspiciatur deliberaiio, utique nisi 
comiiiaU decreto intereedente orator regie majestatis hue erat 
mittendMs." Labbeus, xiv. Id. This perfectly contradicts the 
statement of Hosius^ who says that Herburt " Regis et Regm 
personam in eo loco sustinuit." -^Yide his Opera, p. 697. 


visions. The senate, however,* never passed a 
similar resolution, and it was not even presented 
to the Chamber of Nuncios. The statutes of the 
council of Trent were received by the Polish 
Roman Catholic clergy, with some limitations, in 
the same year 1564; but in 1578, the same 
clergy unconditionally submitted to it, at a synod 
convened at Piotrkow. It was, however, never 
accepted by the Diet, notwithstanding the at- 
tempts which were made to that effect under 
the reigns of Sigismund the Third and John 
Sobieski, although Romanism had then already 
gained a complete ascendancy over the Protes- 

• Vide *' Vie de ComTnenaoni/' pp. 234, ^3. The -fitete- 
ment of Moshdm, who saya, page 145, vd. iv. English transla- 
tion, '^that Poland implicitly received the decrees of the coun- 
cil of Trent," is quite incorrect, -^j^ 



Roman Catho- The Romati CathoHc clergy clearly saw the 
Piotrkow. rapid and universal decline of their influence, 
and the synod which they convened at Piotrkow 
rendered such a position still more manifest. It 
acknowledged itself the supineness of its members, 
by exacting their presence at future synods by 
pecuniary fines imposed on those who should 
absent themselves. • It prohibited, that any 
books having a tendency towards the new doc- 
trines should be read in the schools, but recom- 
mended some productions of antiquity, preferring 
paganism to heresy. It passed also a resolution 
that the king should be requested to issue an 

• The archbishop was to pay, for his absence^ a fine of one 
hundred marks, and a bishop fifty. 


ordinance prohibiting the booksellers from circu- 
lating heretical works. The same clergy had 
extorted by their importunities from the monarch 
some ordinances respecting the religious innova^ 
tions, but which were rather admonitions than 
decrees, as they condemned heresy without 
enacting any penalties against it. The most 
remarkable enactment concerning religious mat- 
ters was that which was issued by the Diet of 
Parczow in 1564, and which originated from the 
united efforts of opposite parties. It was about 
that time that the anti-Trinitarian doctrines began 
to be broached by the so-called Minor Church 
or Anabaptists of Pinczow. They supported the 
dogma of the supremacy of the Father over the 
Son, preparing a complete denial of the divinity 
of Jesus Christ These doctrines excited the 
just animadversion of all the religious parties; 
and the three Protestant churches in Poland — the 
Helvetian, the Lutheran, and the Bohemian — who 
meditated a union amongst themselves, disclaimed 
every community with the Pinczowians. Com- 
mendoni and Hosius tried to take advantage of 
this opportunity, and presented to the king the ^^ 

project of a law exiling from Poland all priests 
who had not been confirmed by the Roman 
Catholic authority; but when they saw the im- 
possibility of passing such a law, they demande4 
of the king that he should order the expulsion 
of all foreign Protestant ministers. They werej 
VOL. I, y 


no more successful in this demand, and the in- 
fluence of the archbishop Uchanski, united with 
that of some senators belonging to the Helvetian 
and the Bohemian churches, exacted an ordi- 
nance on the 17th of August, by which all the 
foreign ministers denying the mystery of the 
Trinity, were compelled to quit the country in 
three days after Michaelmas. Although this 
ordinance related solely to those who professed 
anti -Trinitarian doctrines, Hosius tried to con- 
Fniidess at- Tert it luto a measure against the BohemiaR 
si^'to apply ^ Brethren, considering them as foreigners, and 
to rtie Boh^r consequently subject to the provisions of the 
mian Brethren, above-meutioued ordinance, although they were 

very far from impugning the dogma of the Trinity, 
Kosieleckf, general or first magistrate of Grand 
Poland, a zealous Roman Catholic, was prevailed 
on by Hosius to make such a false application of 
the above-mentioned decree, and he had already 
begun to take some measures to compel them to 
leave the country^ But James Ostrorog, pala- 
tine of Inowroclav, Raphael Leszczynski, whose 
bold manifestations of Protestant opinions we 
have already mentioned, and Laurentius, bishop 
of the Bohemian community, represented to the 
king the reason why the above-mentioned ordi- 
nance was not applicable to them^ and presented 
to him an apology of their creed. The king 
ireceived in a favourable manner their representa- 
tions, and declaring that their confession was not 


contrary to real Christianity, issued an ordinance 
on the 2d of November 1564, by which he prohi- 
bited the persecution of foreigners professing 
the Bohemian creed. Such consequences of the 
above-mentioned decree did not at all satisfy 
Hosius, who bitterly reproached the primate 
Uchanski for having supported a decree which 
exclusively condemned the anti-Trinitarians with- 
out touching the other heretics. He maintained 
that it was necessary to persecute and to eradicate 
all the heretics, because the expulsion of the 
opponents of the Trinity only was an approba- 
tion of the other heresies. If it were impossible 
to expel all the heretics, it was much better to 
leave them all, that they might mutually destroy 
each other by their dissensions. War amongst 
heretics gives peace to the church.* 
The only victim who suffered by that decree itw»ppKedto 

^ ^ ^ tbe celebrated 

was the celebrated Italian, Ochino, whose fortunes OcWno, who is 

obliged to leave 

are amply descnbed by the talented author of the Poland. 
** History of the Reformation in Italy," M*Crie, 
He arrived in Poland in the month of May 1564, 
and was cordially received by those who shared 
his religious opinions. He remained for some 
time at Cracow, where he preached in his native 
language to a congregation composed of Italians 
and Poles. He took also an active part in a 

• ct Ferrentur amnes quo mordeniet el comedentes invicem con* 
sumerentur ab invicem" Hosius^ £p. 105. 

Y 2 


324 SKETCH Of the 

synod of the anti-Trinitarians. Cardinal Borro- 
meus wrote by the order of the Pope to Hosius 
and Commendoni, that they should endeavour to 
expel Ochino from Poland ; and Beza addressed 
at the same time a letter to the reformed churches, 
entreating them to do the same. Ochino was 
therefore obliged to leave Poland, and retired to 
Moravia, where he soon terminated his long and 
agitated life. 
TheR.c. The Roman Catholic clergy despairinsr 

clergy tnes in o./ r o 

vain to perse- to causc anv injury to the Protestant nobles, 

cute the citi- J J J ^ » 

zens of Posna. chosc anothcr arena for combating heresy. The 

inhabitants of the towns were not sheltered by 
the same privileges as the nobles, neither were 
they included in the law which granted to every 
Polish noble the freedom of establishing in his 
house such mode of Christian worship as he 
might think proper. The town of Posnania 
offered the most favourable opportunity for try- 
ing an experiment to persecute Protestants. 
Many of its citizens were openly professing 
Lutheran doctrines as well as those of the Bo- 
hemian Brethren* Koscielecki, the chief magis- 
trate of that province, a zealous Romanist, was 
always inclined to give a ready assistance to 
every attempt at persecuting the opponents of 
the Pope. Czamkowski, bishop of Posnania, a 
man of a very cautious character, instigated in 
an underhand manner the persecution which he 
had not sufficient courage openly to begin; but 


Paul Sarbin, a Dominican monk and inquisitor 
of the diocese of Posnania, summoned before the 
ecclesiastical tribunal Gregory Grycer, a citizen 
of that town, accusing him of having abandoned 
the Roman Catholic religion for the Bohemian 
or Picardian heresy; of having opened his house 
for impious meetings, where the communion of 
two kinds was administered, and of having en- 
trusted the education of his children to John 
Rokita, a Bohemian minister. Grycer did not 
deny the truth of the accusation, and demanded 
only a delay of his trial. The inquisitor issued 
a summons at the same time, and on the same 
charge, against James, a druggist, and Seraphine, 
a tailor, both citizens of Posnania, who paid no 
notice to those summonses. The magistrates of 
the town, acting under the influence of the clergy, 
imprisoned the above-mentioned individuals, who 
would have probably met with a tragical end if 
the proceedings commenced against them had 
been suffered to continue. But the Protestant 
grandees, Gorka, palatine of Posnania, and James 
Ostrorog, entered the town at the head of many 
armed nobles professing the same creed, forced 
the prison and released the sufferers, who, sup- 
ported by such a protection, were no longer 
molested on acount of their religious opinions. 
The bishop, seeing that he was unable to wreak 
publicly, and in the midst of a populous city, his 


vengeance against the antagonist of Rome, cited 
before an ecclesiastical court, which he had 
opened on his own estate, Cionzen, Paul, an 
organist* by profession, on a charge of heresy. 
Paul denied not the charge, and promised to 
prove his conviction by argument. Such defence 
would, however, have been of little avail to him 
if he had no other support ; but the Protestant 
grandees, John Tomicki, castellan of Rogozno, 
James Ostrorog, and Raphael Leszczynski, as^ 
sisted with a hundred armed retainers, accom- 
panied Paul to the ecclesiastical tribunal. The 
bishop, informed of this circumstance, did not 
wait for the appearance of the defendant, but 
pronounced by default a sentence of death 
against him. When the above-mentioned nobles 
appeared before the bishop, he said that they 
came too late, because the affair was terminated, 
and that they had nothing to do with it, because 
it related not to the nobles, but to an individual 
who did not enjoy their privileges. Ostrorog 
answered, that if they permitted to injure 
for his religious opinions a single individual, 
however mean might be his condition, the same 
thing would be attempted against the first gran-- 

* Paul was not a common organist^ but seems to have been a 
person of some importance, as a work on the duties of the 
assistants of the Bohemian churches was dedicated to him. 


dees of the realm. Paul returned to Posnania, 
where he remained quiet after the clergy had 
tried once more, but in vain, to molest him. 

The most remarkable event, however, which otwinowgWin- 

/• tj •! /•^i 1 n ^t suits the most 

gave a full evidence of the weakness of the sacred cere- 
authority of Rome and the contempt into which c.^church,\t a 
it had fallen at that time in Poland, occurred at Jion hi u^*^^* 
Lublin in 1564. Erasmus Otwinowski,* who af- ^^^''""^ ^"- 
terwards became conspicuous as an adherent of 
the anti-Trinitarian sect, and as head master of 
their celebrated school at Racov, succeeded in 
convincing by his arguments a Roman Catholic 
priest of the absurdity of the real presence in 
the Eucharist, so that the priest promised to him 
never to expose it to the adoration of the people, 
The priest did not, however, keep his promise, and 
carried the host inthe usual manner at a solemn 
procession in the streets of Lublin. Otwinowski 
stopped the priest in the midst of a large crowd 
of people, and loudly reproached him for per- 
forming a ceremony, the absurdity of which he 
had acknowledged himself. He demanded of the 
priest to say the Lord's prayer, and when the cler- 
gyman said, " Our father, which art in heaven, " 

* The same Erasmus Otwinowski is known in the Polish 
literature as the translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses^ and as the 
author of several poems. He put into Polish verse all the parables 
of our Saviour. He himself and eight of his brothers embraced 
the Socinian doctrines. He died in 1607, at the age of ninety. 



Otwinowski exclaimed^ " God is then in heaven, 
and not in the bread ;" and saying this/he snatch- 
ed from the hands of the priest the box con- 
taining the consecrated ^afer, vihich he threw on 
the ground, and trampled under his feet. The 
assembled crowd murmured at the profanation of 
the established worship, but offered no violence 
to Otwinowski. The priest sent for the armed 
force to arrest him, but he took shelter in the 
house of a Protestant noble of the name of Su- 
chodolski. This daring act, which was certainly 
reprehensible for its violence, but which may be 
excused by the zeal of Otwinowski, who was 
risking his life rather than suffer what he justly 
considered as an impious idolatry, produced, as 
it may be supposed, the greatest scandal amongst 
the Roman Catholics; and it could not but injure 
the belief in the transubstantiation, as no signs 
of heavenly wrath appeared to punish such a 
daring act of profanation of an object which was 
considered so sacred in the eyes of the Roman 
He is accused, CathoUcs. He was accuscd before the tribunal 
quitted; but a of the Diet, and was in great danger of being 

new law 18 en- 

acted to protect Condemned to a severe penalty ; but his advocate, 
airrdigk)us ^ the Celebrated Rey of Naglovice,* who was at 
parties. ^^^^ ^.j^^ member for Cracow, succeeded in 

giving a favourite turn to this affair. He de- 
fended him on the plea that there was no law 


* \^ide page 161. 


that provided against a similar trespass, and that he 
could only be condemned to indemnify the priest 
for the broken box and the flour expended in 
making the wafer. Otwinowski was therefore 
acquitted; but a new law was enacted, which 
severely prohibited the disturbance of any religious 
worship, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, 
The bishops being at last convinced of the utter 
impossibility of breaking down Protestantism by 
force, changed their policy, and tried to attain 
their object by conciliatory means. They pro- 
posed at the Diet in 1566 to the Protestants the 
following conditions : — " That the nobles might insidious pro- 

. . J positions made 

have in their houses ministers who have seceded by the bishops 
from the Roman church, but that the same minis* tants. 
ters should be approved by the Roman Catholic 
bishops : that the nobles might erect new churches 
for the performance of the Protestant worship, 
and maintain them at their own expense, but that 
they should never touch either the churches or 
tithes belonging to the Roman Catholics. 

Besides this concession in respect to hierarchy, 
they proposed an apparently still larger one, in 
respect to the dogma. They consented to admit 
the Gospels as the only unerring foundation of 
.faith, annulling all the explanations given by the 
Roman Catholic councils and synods ; they only 
enacted that the authority of Augustinus, Chri- 
sostomus, Ambrosius, and Hieronymus, should be 
admitted as a test in expounding the Scriptures. 


This proposition was opposed by the followers 
of the Helvetian and Bohemian churches, and 
chiefly by Stanislav Lasocki and Nicholaus Rey* 
The latter demanded of the bishops to give an 
explanation in what sense the four above-men- 
tioned fathers of the church were to be understood. 
The bishops were compelled to confess, that it 
could not be done in any other sense than that 
which the Roman Catholic church attached to 
them. This forced confession proved to the 
Protestants that the above-mentioned proposi- 
tion was nothing but a snare which the bishops 
were laying for them, and it put a stop to all 
further discussions on this subject. 
Establishment Whilst the struggle amongst the religious par- 
in Polish Prus- tics, which wc havc described, was gomg on m 

Poland, Lutheranism was making rapid strides 
in Polish Prussia. We have already described 
the tragical events by which Protestantism was 
suppressed for a time at Dantzic, as well as in all 
the provinces of Prussia.* We have also said, 
that this same province although politically united 
with Poland, possessed a separate administration 
and 1 egislation ; it had also a separate hierarchy of 
its clergy, whose chief, the archbishop of Warmia, 
was independent of the head of the Polish church. 
This last circumstance, which in some degree iso- 
lated the Prussian clergy from that of Poland, may 

* Vide page 116 and following. 


be considered as a favourable circumstance to the 
progress of the Reformation, as it prevented the 
above-mentioned clergy from acting v^^ith concen- 
trated forces against the growing influence of 

The violent suppression of the reformed 
doctrines in 1520 did not eradicate them, but 
only arrested their open manifestation. The per- 
secution seems also to have exalted the imagina- 
tions of some hot-brained people, as there are 
traces of some fanatical sects having appeared 
about that time at Dantzic. As soon as the ter- 
ror produced by the severities of the triumphant 
Romanism began to subside the Protestant 
opinions, which had been only concealed but not 
extirpated, began to show themselves, assuming 
daily an increase of courage. Hosius, who be- 
came archbishop of Warmia in 1551, extorted 
from the king by his importunities a decree order- 
ing the maintenance of the established religion ; 
but public opinion grew every day stronger in 
favour of the Reformation, and it was necessary 
to abolish public processions in 1555. In the 
same year, a motion was made at the provincial 
Diet of Prussia, to establish religious liberty in 
that province ; but as the Diet came not to any 
conclusion on that subject, the majority of the 
clergy renounced their obedience to Rome, and 
began to administer the communion of two kinds 
to their congregations in 1556. The efforts of 


Hosius to stop the rapid progress of the Refor- 
mation were unavailing, and his influence was 
more than counterbalanced by that of Achatius 
Gzema, palatine of Marienburg, and Paul Dzia- 
lynski, palatine of Pomerania, who had both 
embraced the Protestant religion. The king 
granted successively to different towns privileges 
for erecting Protestant churches and schools, 
and wherever he thought it inexpedient to give 
a public countenance to the cause of the Re- 
formation, he connived at its progress.* At 
last he legalized its existence by the privilege 
he gave to the town of Dantzic, on the 5th 
July 1667, to establish the Lutheran mode of 
worship. This freedom was extended to Elbing 
the same year, and to all the provinces of Prussia 
in 1569. This freedom related, however, only 
to the Lutherans, whilst the other denominations 
of Protestants were excluded from a share in its 

* The grand chancellor of Poland^ John Ocieski^ represented, 
at a conference which he had in 1556 with the deputies of the 
town of Dantzic^ who sought to obtain a privilege of professing 
freely the Protestant religion, that the monarch could not grant 
an official act of such a nature^ because the Pope, irritated by 
such proceedings^ would instigate the emperor to assist the 
Moscovites against Poland ; but that they might follow such a 
kind of worship as their consciences bade them to do, and that 
the king would never permit them to be molested on that 
account Vide Friese, vol. i. page 214 and following. 


When Livonia, having voluntarily submitted to Lutheranism, 
the crown of Poland, was annexed to its dominions LivonUi,l8 c(?n. 
in 1561, Romanism was already abolished there, uZ>n**onhat 
and Protestantism, according to the confession of pSILT "^'^ 
Augsburg, established in its place. This order 
of things was acknowledged and confirmed by 
the king of Poland, as well as the other liberties 
and privileges belonging to the inhabitants of 
this new and important acquisition,* 

♦ Livonia was conquered about 1200, by the German 
knights called sword-bearers, and continued in the possession 
of that military order till its extinction in 1561, when Livonia, 
being unable to defend itself against the Czar of Muscovy, 
voluntarily submitted to the domination of Poland. Gothard 
Ketler, the last grand-master of the order, having embraced 
Lutheranism, married a wife, and was created hereditary duke 
of Courland, invested with all the rights of a sovereign, but 
vassal to the crown of Poland. This memorable transaction 
was performed by prince Nicholaus Rad2iwill, whom we have 
had many opportunities of mentioning as a zealous promoter of 
the Reformation in Poland. The family of Ketler continued 
6n the ducal seat of Courland till 1737, when Biron, or rather 
Bieren, was raised to that dignity by the influence of the Russian 
court, and Courland> which remained under the dependence of 
Poland till its dissolution, became a Russian province in 1795. 
The Reformation was introduced into Livonia about 1520, and 
was much favoured by the grand-master, Walther von Pletten- 
berg, one of thegreatest chiefs that had ruled the order, although 
it appears not that he had ever publicly renounced the commu- 
nion of Rome. It was particularly in the town of Riga that 
Protestantism obtained an early preponderance, and this im- 
portant city entered the league of Smalcalden, formed by Jhe 
Protestants for the defence of their religion, and was included 



We have already said that the towns of Poland, 
partaking not of the liberties enjoyed by the 
nobles, were not l^ally entitled to introduce into 
their walls the Protestant mode of worship. 
Cracow, the capital of the country and the resi- 
dence of the monarch, was placed in this respect 
in the same position with the other towns. The 
Protestant doctrines began to be propagated in 
that city, chiefly by that secret society which we 
have described.* These doctrines rapidly spread 
over the palatinate of Cracow, and all the nobles 
of the two important districts of Proszovice 
and Xionz adopted the Helvetian or Genevese 
confession. Olesnicki converted the Roman 
Catholic church of Pinczow into a Protestant. 
His example was followed by Lasocki at Plecz- 
nica, by Stadnicki at Niedzwiedz, by Zborowski, 
palatine of Kalisz, at Stobnica, Filipowski at 
Krzewice, as well as by many others. Myszkow- 
ski, palatine of Cracow, the powerful family of 
Szafraniec, &c. embraced the reformed religion, 
and maintained ministers of that communion, 
who preached in the houses of their patrons to 
the population of Cracow. In 1552, Justus 

in the treaty of Passau in 1662, which granted religious liberty 
to Protestants. The Reformation spread in Livonia without 
any commotion, as the clergy themselves readily embraced its 

♦ Vide page 18B. 


Decius, secretary to the king, established a 
reformed church on his estate called Vola^ 
situated in the immediate vicinity of Cracow* 
and the synod appointed Gregory Pauli, of Brze- 
ziny, minister to that church, which was fre- 
quented by crowds of the inhabitants of Cracow. 
This place of worship was soon transferred to the 
interior of the town by Bonar, castellan of Biecz, 
who established it in a house belonging to him. 
When Gregory Pauli became infected with anti- 
Trinitarian doctrines, his place was given in 1562 
to Simon Zacius (Zacki). In 1556, the church 
was transferred by Tenczynski to his own house* 
and removed in 1568 to that of Tarlo, palatine 
of Lublin, The Protestant church existed in 
this manner at Cracow, sheltered by the pri- 
vileges belonging to the nobles. It was, however, a reformed 
necessary to erect a temple which would cor- ^"at^JJl^^" 
respond in its outward appearance to those of the l^i^oniw mo- 
Roman Catholics, and which should have a legal ^^^^ 
existence, withoutthenecessity of recurring to the 
patronage of private individuals. The influence 
of the Protestant grandees obtained from Sigis- 
mund Augustus a privilege, dated 8th August 
1569, to build a church, a school, a hospital, and 
to establish a burial-ground . This privilege was 
afterwards confirmed and extended by the royal 
ordinance of 1572, by which the Protestant 
church was invested with prerogatives equal 
to those possessed by the Roman Catholics. 


The necessary cost for the erection of the church 
and the school was immediately provided by a 
generous subscription raised by the chief mem- 
bers of the congregation of Cracow, nobles as 
well as burghers. The following persons were 
elected as churchwardens and elders to the 
congregation. From the nobility, John Zebrzy- 
dowski and Stanislav Ivan Karminski, one of 
the first and most zealous promoters of the Re- 
formation : from the burghers, Chrubowski and 
Gutterer, aldermen of Cracow, Christopher Trecy, 
and Matthias Wierzbienta, a celebrated printer, 
and some others ; the chief of the tanners' com- 
pany was chosen diaconus. The church con- 
tinued to flourish until it was destroyed by 
mobs instigated by the Jesuits, an event which 
we shall relate in its proper place. 

The Bohemian Brethren, who, as we have 

seen,* were compelled in 1548 to leave Poland, 

after having sojourned during ten weeks in the 

vicinity of Posnania, stopped for some time at 

Thorn, where they experienced a favourable 

reception from the inhabitants of the town and 

Establishment' of the surrouudiug couutry. Their doctrines 

mian Brethren began rapidly to gain ground, which naturally 

rapid extension alarmed the Roman Catholic clergy, and the 

bishop of Culm, Tiedeman Giese, although secretly 
inclined to the doctrines of the Reformation, was 

* Vide page 151. 


obliged to make an application to the govern- 
ment that the same law by which the brethren 
were expelled from Grand Poland should be 
enforced against them likewise in Prussia. The 
brethren were consequently obliged to leave that 
province, and to pass into the eastern or ducal 
Prussia, with the exception of a single minister, 
who secretly remained superintending a small 
congregation formed by himself. He was, how- 
ever discovered by Hosius in 1 549, and compiled 
to follow the rest of his countrymen. 

The brethren were favourably received by 
Albert duke of Prussia, who moreover sheltered 
them by his patronage from the attacks which 
some over-zealous Lutheran divines had begun 
to make on the dogma of the brethren. They 
received the rights of citizenship, a full liberty 
of religious exercise, and a church was granted 
to them, where they performed divine service in 
their national tongue.* The Bohemians were, 

* The patronage of the duke sheltered the Bohemian Bre- 
thren from the persecution of the Lutheran divines of Prussia 
.only for a time^ and after the death of the above-mentioned 
prince the persecution was renewed. In 15G8^ the brethren were 
prohibited from having public worship. They were ordered 
to sign the twenty articles of the confession established in 
Prussia^ and it was interdicted to them to have any communi- 
cation with their brethren either in Poland or Bohemia. This 
induced the greatest part of them to emigrate, in 1574^ to 
Poland, wTiere they enjoyed full liberty of religion. 


VOL. I. Z 


however, most anxious to promote and extend 
their church in Poland, of which they had laid the 
foundation during their short residence in that 
country in 1548. 

Matthias Sionski, bishop or superintendent 
of the Bohemian community visited in the 
following year ( 1 549 ) Posnania, where he 
found a hospitable reception in the house of 
Andreas Lipczynski, alderman of the town. 
Sionski preached in his house, and succeeded 
in forming a little congregation. After having 
visited Moravia, he passed again through Pos- 
nania, where he confirmed his rapidly increas- 
ing flock, which grew every day by the la- 
bours of Matthias Aquila, Mathias Czerwonka, 
and George Israel, who frequently came over 
from Prussia to strengthen the zeal and faith of 
their new brethren. The congregation having 
grown numerous, Sionski was requested to ap- 
point a permanent minister, and he entrusted 
George Israel with that office.* 

The mission of the new pastor was surrounded 
with many dangers from the jealousy of the Ro- 
man clergy; but his zealous efforts in the Lord's 
vineyard were soon crowned with a most bril- 
liant success, and his congregation was soon 
joined by the first families of that province. We 

may mention, amongst the principal converts, 


• Vide page 148. 


Catherine Ostrorog, sister of James and Stanislav 
Ostrorog, lady of Pamiontkow, and her sister Jan- 
kowski, whose example was followed by her hus- 


band and several relations ; as well as by the fa- 
milies of Bukowiecki, Jaskolecki, Roznowski, &c- 
Gorka, castellan of Posnania, a grandee who had 
already adopted the doctrines of the Reformation, 
patronized the new congregation, which was soon 
increased by Shylling, one of the principal citi- 
zens of Posnania ; and by Praxeda, a Dominican 
nun, who distinguished herself afterwards by her 
pious and exemplary life, as well as by the suc- 
cessful efforts she made to propagate the word 
of God.* 

* The best proof of her eminent merit is, that she particu- 
larly deserved the obloquy of the Romanist writers. Rescius 
(Reszka) calls her a profligate, and says that she administered 
to her congregation the communion of two kinds, having 
received the orders : (vide his work De Atheismis, page 343.) 
The same author did not scruple to profer against the Bohe- 
mian Brethren, whose morality was acknowledged on all hands, 
calumnies, the foulness of which was equalled only by their 
absurdity* He pretended, for instance, that the brethren as« 
sembled together in houses where, after divine service, the 
lights were extinguished, and both sexes abandoned them- 
selves to an abominable commerce with those whom they 
met by chance, and that children born from such criminal 
connexion were murdered, by being carried firom one person 
to another until they expired from fatigue, and that he in 
whose arms the child died was declared high priest of the 
community. Such were the calumnies printed by Rescius, 
who was the papal internuncio, and the confidant of Hosius. 

z 2 .1^ 


But the most zealous and successful promoter 
of the Bohemian church was George Israel 
himself, who notwithstanding that his life was 
menaced by assassins hired by the bishop of Pos- 
nania, prosecuted his pious labours with unabated 
perseverance. He was powerfully assisted by 
Catherine Ostrorog, sister to James Ostrorog, 
who although he had abandoned the communion 
of Rome, was yet undecided which mode of Pro- 
testant worship he was to choose. He invited, in 
1553, Felix Cruciger of Szczebzreszyn, superin- 
tendent of the Helvetian or Reformed churches of 
Little Poland and Stancari, to act conjointly with 
Israel in order to unite both the churches. They 
could not agree, then, about the final settlement 
of that important question; Felix returned to 
his province, and Stancari's opinions were soon 
afterwards condemned by the Helvetian as well 
as by the Bohemian church. The conference, 
however, which they had with Israel on that sub- 
ject in the presence of many persons, produced 
such an impression on Barbara Stadnicki, wife 
of Ostrorog, that she declared her resolution to 
enter the Bohemian community. Her husband 
hesitated, for some time, but finally followed her 
example, and delivered all the Romanist churches 

It 18^ indeed^ impossible to admit that he could believe such 
absurdities ; but it was rather the result of a deliberate system 
of calumny. 


of his estates to Bohemian ministers.* Such 
brilliant success enabled the brethren to es- 
tablish a church in the town of Posnania, 
which they did in the palace of the Ostrorogs. 
This not being as yet allowed by any kind of 
enactment, could not fail to be considered as 
an illegal proceeding, and the king was conse- 
quently obliged to give way to the representa- 
tions of the Romanists, and issued an order, on 
the 3d March 1556, dated Vilno, prohibiting 
the meetings of the brethren, under the penalties 
which still existed on the statute book of Poland 
against heretics, although in fact they had be- 
come a dead letter. The zealous Romanist 
Koscielecki eagerly executed the above-men- 
tioned ordinance, and the Bohemian church of 
Posnania was shut up by his orders ; but it 
was soon re-opened by the influence of Ostrorog* 
This success gave courage to the Lutherans, who 
likewise opened their church at the same place. 
We have already described in this chapter the 
unsuccessful attempt which was made by the 
Romanists at persecuting the Bohemian brpthren 
in 1564. 

* Besides the church at Ostrorog, his principal domain, he 
gave to the Bohemian ministers those of Lubran, Kozmin, 
M arszew and Barczyn. Their churches were also established 
about the same time at Lissa, Wieruszow^ Skoki, Szamotuly, 
and other towns of Grand Poland. 


Although Stancari and Felix of Szczebrzeszyn 
could not effect, in 1553, a union of the reformed 
church with the Bohemian Brethren, the neces- 
sity and possibility of such an act became every 
day more manifest to the followers of both 
the churches in Poland. Tne synod of Slom- 
niki, 25th November 1554, made considerable 
advances towards the above-mentioned union, 
but did not adopt any definite resolutions on that 
important subject. The synod of Chrencice, 24th 
March 1555, was more explicit in its decisions, 
and declared the possibility of a union between 
the Helvetian and Bohemian churches in Poland. 
The synod of Gnievkof removed many of the 
obstacles to the accomplishment of that transac- 
tion, which was finally effected at the synod of 
They establish Kozminek, near Kalish. This memorable assem- 

a union with , , , . . , , * 

the Helvetian bly began its mcctmgs on the 24th August 1555, 
land. and terminated them on the 2d September of the 

same year. The Bohemians were represented 
by John Czerny, bishop or senior of their com- 
munity; George Israel, Math. Rybinski, John 
Gyrk, pastor of the German congregation, P. Stu- 
denius, Peter Skalnicki, M. Marszek, Alb. Ser- 
pentin, minister of Kozmin, John Rokita, John 
Laurentius, John Petranius, St. Bydranski, J. 
Filipowski, &c. There were, besides, the fol- 
lowing noblemen who had joined the Bohemian 
church : John Krotowski, palatine of Inovrotzlav, 
John Tomicki, castelan of Rogozno ; James 


Ostrorog, Leszczynski, Grudzinski Marszewski, 
* &c. The Helvetian church was represented by 
Felix of Szczebrzeszyn, superintendent of the 
churches of Little Poland, Andreas Prazmowski, 
Stan. Lutomirski, Martinus Krowicki, Alexander 
Vitrelinus, Gregorius Pauli, (the four last-named 
afterwards deserted their church and embraced 
anti-Trinitarian opinions). Besides these ministers 
there were from the nobility, Lasocki, Filipow- 
ski, and Andreas Trzecieski, a celebrated scholar. 
The duke of Prussia delegated his chaplain John 
Funk, William Krzynecki, baron of Ronow, 
and Hieronymus Malecki to assist at this synod. 
The Bohemians presented to the Helvetian 
church the confession of their faith, as well as 
the form of their hierarchy and discipline, which, 
after having been carefully examined, was declared 
strictly to correspond with the pure precepts of 
the Gospel, and with the practice of the primi- 
tive church^ A spiritual community was esta- 
blished between the two churches, although they 
preserved a separate hierarchy. The ministers 
of the Bohemian church were acknowledged in 
the same capacity by the Helvetians and vice versA. 
This union caused a great joy amongst the prin- 
cipal reformers of Europe, and many of them, as 
Peter Martyr, Sturm, Pontanus, &c., addressed, 
on that occasion, congratulatory letters to the 
Protestant congregatiobs of Poland. 




The doctrines of the Reformation had now 
obtained in Poland a complete triumph over the 
Romanist opposition, and the Protestant churches, 
which numbered amongst their followers the 
noblest families in Poland,* occupied a position 

* Trzecieski, in his work " de Evangelii in Polonia origine/* 
enumerates the following great Polish names^ which had em- 
braced the doctrines of the Reformation previously to the year 
1556 : — Ostrorog, Olesnicki^ Sieninski^ Leszczynski^ Szafra- 
niec, Tenczynski, Jordan^ Zborowski^ Gorka, Mielecki, Laski^ 
Chodkiewicz, Radziwill^ Melsztynski, Dembinski, Bonar, Bo« 
ratynskij Firley^ Cikowski, Tarlo^ Lubomirski, Dzialynski^ 
Zebrzydowski^ Sieniawski^ Czamkowski^ Gorskij Dziaduski, 
Zaremba, Przyjemski, Bninski, Malachowski^ Konarski, Wie- 
lopolski^ Straz, &c. &c. All these families occupied the first 
dignities of the state. It is remarkable that many of the fVo- 
testants having returned into the pale of the Roman church, 
often preserved opinions which 'were not in unison with the 
spirit of that church ; as, for instance^ John Zamoyski^ whom 



equal to that of their antagonists in political 
respects, and possessed that superiority which a 
vigorous youth possesses over a superannuated 
opponent. But a far more dangerous enemy to 
the stability of the reformed churches than all 
the machinations of Rome, arose in the very 
camp of the Protestants, an enemy equally dan- 
gerous to Romanists and Protestants, and vrhich 
threatened to subvert all revealed religion. We 
mean the anti-Trinitarian doctrines, vrhich began 
to be openly broached in Poland about 1546, at 
the meetings of a secret society at Cracow.* The First manifes- 
works of Servetus, according to the evidence of anti-Trinitarian 
Modrzewski, were read by many in Poland. Lelio Poiand. 
Socino, who visited that country in 1551, had 
undoubtedly propagated the same opinions, and 
Stancari contributed to it by maintaining that 
the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ was 

our history calls *' the Great;" he was educated in the Protestant 
religion^ and even took a conspicuous part in the reformed 
synod of Bychava, in 1560, but became afterwards a Roman Ca- 
tholic during his residence in Italy. He was, however, a zealous 
defender of religious liberty, and he once said, in the presence 
of the king and of the senate, the following memorable words : 
^* I would give half of my life, if those who have abandoned 
the Roman Catholic church should voluntarily return into its 
pale; but I would prefer giving all my life than to suffer 
any body to be constrained to do it^ for I would rather die 
than witness such an oppression.*' 

• Vide page 139. 


made only according to his human, and not to 
Goneaiuspub- his divinc natuTC. But the individual who first 
ihem^atasynod embodied the anti-Trinitarian opinions into one 

positive doctrine, was a certain Peter Gonesius.* 
He was educated at the university of Cracow; 
and being a zealous Romanist, he took a violent 
part against Stancari in 1550. Paul Algimont, 
prince of Holszansk, bishop of Yilna, took him 
under his patronage, and afforded to him the 
means of prosecuting his studies at the foreign 
universities. Gonesius frequented for some time 
the university of Wittemberg, and visited the 
principal academies of Germany without aban- 
doning Romanism ; but he changed his persua- 
sion in Switzerland, and went to another ex- 
treme, being very likely infected with the anti- 
Trinitarian doctrines by the .Italians who had 
fled to that country on account of their religious 
opinions. Be it as it may, Gonesius, who had 
returned to Poland apparently as a follower of 
the Helvetian church, openly declared his opi- 
nions at the reformed synod of Secemin, the 
24th January 1556. He rejected the Athanasian 
creed, and denied the community of the Son with 
the Father. He rejected, at the same time, the 
usual mode of receiving the Trinity, and main- 
tained the existence of three distinct Gods; 

♦ He is also called Goniondzki, or k Goniondz^ having pro- 
bably been a native of Goniondz, a little town in the province 
of Podlachia. 


although he acknowledged the true Godhead to 
belong only to the Father. The synod gave 
no decision on that subject, but transmitted his 
confession to Melancthon. Gonesius was him- 
self its bearer, and Melancthon tried in vain 
to induce him to abandon his opinions. 

Gonesius gave a more complete development 
of his doctrines at the synod of Brest, in Lithua- 
nia, the 15th December 1558, where he read a 
treatise against the baptism of infants, and added 
the significant words that there were other things 
which had crept from Popery into the church.* 
The synod, being afraid of producing a division 
amongst the reformers, contented itself with im- 
posing silence on Gonesius, under penalty of ex- 
communication. He, however, refused obedience 
to his church, and found a great number of ad- 
herents who embraced his opinions. He derived 
the greatest support from John Kiszka, general 
of Lithuania and starost of Samogitia, a grandee 
possessed of immense wealth and influence, 
who having embraced his opinions, appointed 
him minister of Wengrow, a town belonging to 
him, and zealously promoted the establishment 
of churches maintaining the supremacy of the 
father over the son.f But the doctrines of Go- 

* ^S^e habere el alia qtuB ex papatu in ecclesiam irrepuerunl, 

f Gonesius^ "who maintained that baptism should be adminis- 
tered only to adults (hence the surname of Anabaptists given to 
his followers), published the following works : — 1. " On the Son 



nesius, which resembled more those of Ariiis than 

the opinions of Servetus, served only as a passage 

to a complete denegation of the mystery of the 

Gonesius gains Trinity as Well as of the divinity of our Lord 

Jesus Chnst. Gonesms soon numbered amongst 

his adherents many individuals distinguished by 

their rank and learning, amongst ministers as 

well as amongst the nobles. 

RncJSt^-^^ The anti-Trinitarian doctrine took, however, 

SSrtLd^^S ^^ greatest development at Pinczow, a place in 

those doctrines, j^g palatinate of Cracow, where, as we have seen, 

Olesnicki had converted the first Roman Catholic 
church into a Protestant one.* We have also 

of God, who was before the Creation of the World, and by 
whom all things were made," dedicated to his patron, Kiszka, 
and printed at Wengrow in 1570. — 2. <^0n the Baptism of 
Infants."— 3. '' On the Three, the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit, against the Adherents of the Trinity." This last 
work is exceedingly rare, as it was destroyed by Kiszka, who 
embraced the opinions of the Pinczovians, Sandius enumerated 
the following works of Gonesius : — 1. " Against the Baptism of 
Infants," read at the synod of Brest in 1558— 2. " A Treatise" 
on the same subject, against Kryszkowski, a member of the 
Bohemian Church;" and^ 3. '* A Treatise against the School of 
Rakov," which maintained that Christ did not exist previously 
to his birth. He maintained also, that a Christian should neither 
bear arms nor accept of any civil office: " Homini Christiano rum 
licere nee magistratum gerere, neque gladio uti.*' In token of 
this opinion 'he used to wear a wooden sword. Il is sup- 
posed that he advocated also the community of goods. 

* Vide page 166, 


seen that Stancari, who was chiefly instrumental 
in bringing about that conversion, contributed 
much to the rise of anti -Trinitarian doctrines by 
his disputes about the nature of the mediation of 
our Saviour. The divines of Pinczow, although which are du 
apparently following the tenets of the Genevese ycrai shades. 
church, were soon divided into different shades 
of opinion about the mystery of the Trinity. 
Besides those who did not question the truth of 
that mystery, there were two parties, of which 
one maintained that Jesus Christ, according to 
his divine nature, was equal to his Father ; but as 
a Mediator according to his human nature, he 
was inferior to him ; the other maintained that 
the Son was always inferior to the Father. This 
last opinion made a rapid progress in the bold- 
ness of its speculations, as well as in the number 
of its adherents. 

Notwithstanding these opinions, so contrary 
to the tenets of the Helvetian church, no open 
schism took place for some time, and many flat« 
tered themselves with the hope of maintaining 
the purity of its doctrine. This hope proved, 
however, to be delusive. Czechowicz decidedly 
rejected the baptism of infants ; whilst Shoman 
Lustovic and Peter Statorius, formally denied the 
divinity of the Holy Spirit ; and the Pinczovians 
published two confessions of their creed — a small 
one in 1560, and a larger in 1561. These con- 
fessions may be, however, considered as only 


indefinite outlines of their doctrines, which re- 
mained for some time in an uncertain state, and 
without assuming any definite form. Their school 
was disunited, and still wavering on what foun- 
dation it should finally determine its creed. It 
arrived, however, at the f^rilowing conclusions, 
that Christ was not a real God ; that the Holy 
Ghost had not a divine nature ; that the mediation 
of our Saviour was human ; and that baptism had 
no sanctity ; in fisict, it wap overthrowing revela- 
tion, and assigning to Christianity a human origin. 
Its progress was neverthAess very rapid, and it 
menaced the Helvetian ciiurch, in the bosom of 
which it had taken birth, Fith total subversion. 

The Helvetian church, which was predominant 

amongst the nobles of Little Poland and 

Lithuania, and which acquired a new strength 

from its union with the Bohemian Brethren of 

Grand Poland, felt its danger, but resolved to 

make a bold stand against an enemy risen from 

amongst its own children. Geneva strongly 

admonished the Polish reformed churches vigo- 

refomed^'^'' Tously to defend themselves against the at- 

iMiTu) combat *^^^^ ^^ *^^ auti-Trinitariaus, and Beza openly 

these danger- adviscd to cocTCC them with the sword. But 

0U8 doctnnesy 

and violent san&:uinary measures were impossible in Poland, 

advice given to ° •' *^ 

it by the re- it remained only to com{3at them by argument 

Switzerland. and Syuods. £ , 

Biandrata, and The dogma of the Trmity was also attacked 

his influence on i! ■\, i. r i 

the progress of by Gcofgc Biandrata, an Italian of great leammg. 


who having arrived in Poland gained such credit anti-Trim- 
amongst the Protestants that he was elected one Poland. 
of the superintendente of the Helvetian churches 
of Little Poland.* The synod of Pinczow, in 
1558, endeavoured to silence all those dangerous 
innovations which \^re broached by Stancan, 
Blandrata, and Lismanini. The doctrine of the 
Trinity was strenously defended by Laski and 

* George Blandrata was 1: m in the marquisate of Saluzzo^ 
in Piedmont. He embraced ^he profession of a physician, and 
his great talents united with ,a lively wit, agreeable manners, 
and an advantageous appearance, insured to him a great 
success, and rendered him a favourite with many eminent 
persons. Having embraced U e doctrines of the Reformation, 
he retired to Geneva, but ha^oig manifested anti-Trinitarian 
opinions, he thought it prudent to retire from Switzerland, and 
arrived in Poland in 1555. Notwithstanding the admonitions 
of Calvin, the reformed churches of Little Poland received 
Blandrata with distinction, and entrusted him with important 
offices in their administration. In 1563 he left Poland, having 
accepted the place of physician to John Sigismund, prince 
of Transylvania. His profession giving him an easy access to 
the prince as well as to the first families in the country, afforded 
him great facilities for propagating his doctrines. He suc- 
ceeded so far in his Object, that after a public disputation which 
he held, in conjunction with Paul Davidi, a celebrated Unitarian, 
against the Lutheran ministers at Weissenburg, and which 
lasted ten days, the prince and the chief nobles of the country 
embraced his doctrines. After the death of John Sigismund 
he returned to Poland, and w<n physician to king Stephen 
Battory. He afterwards abar >ned the anti-Trinitarian opi- 
nions, and joined the Reformed church. He was murdered 
about 1590, by his own nephew. 


Stanislav Samicki, chaplain to Bonar^ castellan 
of Biecz. Their pious efforts did not, however, 
succeed in silencing their adversaries, who con- 
sidered the s3mod of Pinczow as having led to 
the development of their doctrines,* At the 
synod of Pinczow, 25th April 1559, Laski and 
Samicki, two strenuous antagonists of the anti- 
Trinitarians, who presided at it, ordered that 
all the ministers should make a confession of 
their creed about the Trinity and its persons. 
This measure could not remedy the growing evil, 
and Remigius Chelmicki presented to the synod 
held at Pinczow, on the 20th to the 22d of Novem- 
ber the same year, his work, in which he advis- 
ed the abolishment of the invocation of the Holy 
Spirit, denying its divinity. This opinion was also 
supported by Peter Statorius, a Frenchman, f 
although with more moderation. The same sub- 
ject was debated at the synods of Sandomir and 
Vlodzislav ; and at that of Xionz in 1560, where 
the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the reformed 

churches was organized. The partizans of the 


* Statorius says that the synod of Pinczov made^ '^ magnum 
ingressum ad demoliendum dogma Tfinitatis" The same 
opinion is maintained by Lubieniecki. 

f Statorius was bom at Thionville in France, and arrived in 
Poland in 1559, where he was naturalized by the Diet as a 
noble^ and took the name of Stoinski. He studied under Beza, 
but embraced the opinions of Servetus. He is the author of 
the first Polish Grammar. 


anti-Trinitarian opinions endeavoured to give 
to the laity a superiority over the clergy, in 
the government of the church, to deprive the 
ministers of all influence, and to limit them 
to the office of teaching. They did not succeed 
in their object; but their influence must have 
been great, as Blandrata was elected superin- 
tendent of all the reformed churches of Little 
Poland, which gave him great facilities for 
spreading his opinions. 

The reformed churches of Poland were in the 
greatest danger of being wholly perverted by the 
fast-spreading anti-Trinitarianism. This danger 
was increased by the death of their most eminent 
champion, John Laski, who was a host in the de« 
fence of the Reformation against its external and 
internal enemies. Providence had left to them, 
however, some strenuous defenders, who opposed 
with unabated zeal and undaunted courage the evil 
which was progressing with an apparently irre- 
sistible force, and which had infected many of the 
most eminent members of the reformed church. 
Andreas Trzecieski, Stanislav Sarnicki, Sylvius 
(Lesniowolski ), and Felix of Szczebrzeszyn, 
exerted themselves to the utmost of their power in 
order to prevent a division in their church, which 
could not be but very prejudicial to the great 
cause of the Reformation. They sought advice 
p.nd support from Switzerland as the head-foun- 
tain of their doctrines, and they found the 

VOL. 1. 2 a 


reformers of Zurich and Geneva ready to assist 
them in that emergency 

The opinions of Stancari about the mediation 
of our Saviour had been condemned by Melanc- 
thon, BuUinger, P. Martyr, and Beza, and this 
condemnation was approved by the churches 
of Geneva and Zurich in 1561. Blandrata, 
whose opinions were much more anti-Trinitarian 
than those of Stancari, clothed them with ex- 
pressions borrowed from the Gospel, and pro- 
pagated them with great caution. Apparently 
he did not abandon the orthodox creed ; but 
subscribing to it, explained it in a manner of his 
own. He made an apology for his belief at the 
synod of Xionz, and was acknowledged to be 
orthodox.* This feigned orthodoxy of Blandrata, 
which deceived the Polish reformers, did not 
impose on the sagacity of Calvin, who disbe- 
lieved the sincerity of his profession, and 
urgently admonished the churches of Poland 
not to trust the Italian.f Experience fully 

* " Nee volumus a consensu ecclesiarum vestrarum discedere. 
Blandrata nostra confessioni uno subscripuisse, " — Letter of 
Felix of Szczebrzeszyn^ addressed to Calvin in the name of the 
synod of Xionz^ dated August S, 1541. 

f Vide Calvin's letters to Felix of Szczebrzeszyn and the 
ministers of Little Poland^ as well as his epistle to the church 
of Vilna. He says : ^* magni vobis est existimatio Blandratce : 
vos admiramini non secus atque angelum de ccelo delapsum : 
immodica vesira facilitate male ecclesiis vestris Jiierit consuUum, 



justified the fears of Calvin, because Blandrata; 
who enjoyed a very great influence in Poland, 
employed it with considerable effect in propa- 
gating his errors, with which he infected many 
eminent personages. 

The admonitions of Calvin were not without 
effect, although the synod of Vilna received 
them with displeasure. Prince Radziwill, under 
whose direction it was deliberating, disapproved 
the proceedings of Calvin, and, instead of con- 
sidering Blandrata as a heretic, entrusted him 
as his plenipotentiary to the synod of Pinczow, 
in 1561. The anti-Trinitarians were not less 
bold in that synod, pretending that their doctrine 
was the orthodox one. R. Chelmicki renewed 
his confession about the invocation of the Holy 
Spirit, and Statorius undertook the defence of 
Blandrata, advising to disbelieve the admonitions 
of Calvin. The synod listened only to the opposite 
doctrines, without venturing on any decision. 

The synod of Cracow, 10th December 1561, 
was more explicit. The admonitions of Calvin 
were read, and the doctrines of Blandrata and 
Lismanini were rejected, according to the advice 

coepH per ambages questionem trahere Jidei nostra ariiculum 
de deiiate Christi ; sua somnia sparsit apud imperitos,'* 

He addressed at the same time Blandrata himself, reproach^ 
ing him^ in a rather harsh language, for his duplicity :-— 
^' VuUus ttmm detestabile monstrum, mihi ostendit quod in corde 
occuUumJaves" Sfc* 

2 A 2 


of Sarnicki. The synods of Pinczow, held on 
the 25th June and 20th November 1561, and 
that of Vlodislav, on the 2st October of the 
same year, deliberated on that subject without 
coming to any decisive conclusion. The synod 
of Xionz, on the 10th March 1562, produced an 
apparent approximation of the contending parties, 
although in fact it was favourable to the anti- 
Trinitarians. The opinions of Blandrata gained 
new adherents, but the synod did not pass any 
decisive resolution on that subject, which it left 
to a more general assembly. But to the synod 
of Pinczow, convened the same year, on the 2.1st 
April, Blandrata presented his confession of 
faith, composed entirely with orthodox expres- 
sions. He denied the charge of polytheism made 
against his doctrines, and expressed his wish 
to the synod that Calvin might be permitted to 
confess Christ as the son of God, without any 
further explanations.* The synod passed such 
a resolution, as if it wished to conceal its real 
opinions, or to prevent at any price a schism, ^ 
All researches about the Trinity, mediation, in- 
carnation, were to be abandoned : all expresions 
unknown to the primitive church were prohi- 
bited. The ministers were to preach the pure 
words of the Gospel, unadulterated by any human 

* Sandius. This synod was composed of twenty-eight mi- 
nisters and twelve lay patrons. — ^Lubieniecki. 


explanations. The decisions of the councils held 
after the apostolical times were declared not 
binding. Sarnicki, who perceived that this re- 
solution was passed in order to conceal the real 
opinions of its framers, proposed that all the 
ministers maintaining the supremacy of the 
Father over the Son should resign their offices, 
but his proposition was rejected, by which the 
anti-Trinitarian bias of the synod became evi- 

Blandrata left Poland and retired to Transyl- Gregory pauh 

, . 1 . 1 • I 1 ^-i • gives to the 

vania j but his place was occupied by Gregonus anti-Trinita- 

rfti*i?'n * 1111 1 •/«.ii i^an doctrines 

Fauli, 01 Jirzeziny, who had already manifested a more com- 
his anti-Trinitarian opinions at the synod of ment^^^^^^''" 
Secemin, in 1 566, when they were proclaimed 
by Gonesius. Being accused at the synod of 
Pinczow on that account, he threw off every 
disguise, and proclaimed from the pulpit his 
opinions respecting the mystery of the Trinity, 
He rejected the Nicean creed, and the doctrine 
of the first five cecumenic councils. He went 
even much further than Gonesius and Arius, 
maintaining that Christ did not exist before his 
birth, and consequently reduced him to the con- 
dition of man. He condemned the baptism of 
infants, and maintained that Christ had abolished 
the temporal powers, that death did not sepa- 
rate the soul from the body, and that the body 
did not in reality die; that the holy Scriptures 
do not establish any dijQTerence between the 


resurrection of the soul and of the body, but they 
will both have a common resurrection. That the 
spirit formed not a separate and independent 
substance. That God has raised from the dead 
the body of Christ, which entered heaven. That 
the doctrine about the death of the body was 
introduced by the Antichrist, who established by 
it purgatory and the invocation of the saints. 
Pauli was also inclined to a community of goods. 
These daring propositions were strenuously op- 
posed by Samicki and the orthodox party, which 
was strong at that synod. They boldly denounced 
the doctrine of Pauli as dangerous, and subver- 
sive of Christianity itself. The synod separated, 
however, without giving any final decision, but a 
war from the pulpit was begun about that sub- 
ject. The synod of Rogow, in July 1562, con- 
vened for the purpose of conciliating the parties, 
evinced a leaning to the doctrines of Pauli, and 
that of Pinczow (August 1 562) was composed of 
jx majority of his adherents ; but Sarnicki refused 
to acknowledge its authority. Another synod, 
which met at the same place (November the 4th 
1662), tried to preserve a union, by a proposition 
that the confession of the Helvetian church should 
be signed, but that it should be permitted to 
examine and to explain it without any limitation. 
This proposition was rejected by the orthodox 
party. But the conference of Piotrkow, which 
was held the same year, established a final sepa^ 


ration, as the anti-Trinitarian party, guided by 
the ministers, Pauli, Stanislav Lutomirski, Mar- 
tinus Krowicki, George Shoman, and the nobles, 
John Niemojowski, Hieronymus Filipowski and 
John Kazanowski, solemnly declared their rejec- 
tion of the mystery of the Trinity. 
Samicki, supported by the influence of Bonar, The reformed 

svnod of Crfl- 

castellan of Biecz, and of Myszkowski, palatine of cow, in i563, iu^^ 
Cracow, assembled, on the 14th May 1563, at the demns the 
last-named capital, a synod of the staunch adhe- anti-Trinita- 
rents of the Helvetian church. It condemned bilshe^a final* 
in an unqualified manner the anti-Trinitarian ttS^'^'^'' ^""^ 
doctrines,* and summoned Pauli, who was mini- 
ster of the congregation of Cracow, to resign his 
office. He was obliged to comply with this in- 
junction, but remained for some time at the head 
of a separate congregation, which had embraced 

his opinions.! 

The anti-Trinitarians were not intimidated by 
that solemn condemnation of their doctrine by 

♦ The most distinguished defenders of the reformed confes- 
sion at that synod were, the castellans of Cracow and Zawi- 
chost, Firley, palatine of Lublin, Joachim Lubomirski^ and 
Justus Decius, secretary to the king. — Vide Lubieniecki. 

\ Pauli was of Italian descent, but born in Poland. After 
having for some time directed an anti-Trinitarian congregation 
at Cracow, he retired to Pinczow, whence he passed to Racow, 
and presided over the congregation of that place until his 
death, in 1591. He advocated all his life the doctrine, that a 
Christian should neither accept of civil offices nor bear arms. 


the synod of Cracow, pronounced on the 14th 
May 1563, and they convoked, a few days after- 
wards, and in the same capital, a synod of their 
own, presided over by Lutomirski, and composed 
of twenty ministers and three lay patrons : it 
declared the resolutions of the other synod null 
and void, and made an appeal against them to a 
synod which was to be convened in the month of 
September of the same year. They published an 
apology of their creed, and invited the churches 
of Podlachia and Lithuania, many of which 
shared their errors, to join them, in order to 
define better the doctrine and the hierarchy. 
The projected synod of Cracow did not take 
place ; but that which was held at Mordy (a 
little town in Podlachia) on the 6th of June 1563, 
Anti-Trinita- agaiust the Helvetian church, manifested a com* 
MorSy; ^ pletely organized party. Forty-two ministers 

signed a confession, denying the divinity of 
Christ, although they left the expression of Tri- 
nity in order not to frighten away some less bold 

. The anti-Trinitarians began to be known 
under the name of xinczovians, as the town 
of Pinczow had become their principal school. 
Although they united in their chief dogma the 

♦ The sjmod says, in its address to prince Radziwill : "Vo* 
cabulum Trinitatis non omnino reddere potuimus, propter aUquos 
infirmiores.* — Vide Lubieniecki. 


superiority (rf the Father over the Son, they dis- 
agreed amongst themselves on many other points. 
For instance, the baptism of infants was con- 
demned by Gonesius, Albin, Pulchranius, rector 
of the school of Bychawa, Paklewski, pastor of 
Lublin, Hieronymus Piekarski, but principally 
by Martinus Czechowicz, an eminent writer of 
that party; but it was defended by Symon Zac- 
ki, superintendent of Vilna, and by some others. 
The synod of Brest in Cujavia, the 10th June 
1565, composed of thirty-two ministers, miti- 
gated a little that dispute, but did not pass any 
final resolution on that subject. The synod of ^^^^^ 
Wengrow (25th December 1565), composed of 
forty-seven ministers and eighteen eminent noble- 
men, besides a great number of inferior person- 
ages, may be considered as one of the most 
important anti-Trinitarian assemblies. It was 
acknowledged by the churches of the districts 
of Szydlowietz, Lublin, Chelm, and Brest, and 
the synod of the churches in the Carpathian 
mountains sent to it its full powers. A letter 
of the Transylvanian churches was publicly read, 
and many individuals belonging to the first 
families joined on that occasion the anti-Tri- 
nitarian churches. We may mention amongst 
them Barbara, lady to Kiszka, palatine of Wi- 
tepsk, and Anne, princess Radziwill. The synod 
rejected the baptism of infants, on the plea 
that it was neither used by the primitive church. 


nor commanded by the Gospels; but it did not 
positively prohibit it, and left it to the conscience 
of individuals, recommending charity and mutual 
forbearance. This resolution was rejected by the 
church of Yilna, which defended the baptism of 
infants. The doctrine of the baptism of adults 
was put into practice at that synod, and Czecho- 
wicz administered it by immersion to James Nie- 
Principii te- *l'h^ anti-Trinitarian church was entirely con- 

nett 01 their ^ , , ^ ^ •'^ 

sect stituted in 1565; it had its synods, ministers, 

schools, and a complete ecclesiastical oi^niza- 
tion. The principal tenets of that church, em- 
bodied in its confession, published in 1574,* were 
as follows : ^' God has made the Christ, i. e. the 
most perfect prophet, the most sacred priest, the 
invincible king, by whom he has created the new 
world. This new world is the new birth, which 
Christ has preached, established, and performed. 
Christ has amended the old order of things, and 
granted to his elected eternal life, that they 
might, after God the most high, believe in him. 

* '* Catechisis et ixmfessiojldei coetus pet* PoUmiam congregati 
in nomine Jean Christi, domini nastri, cruci/un et resuscitaii ;* 
-— typis Alexandri Turobicki^ in 1574, 12mo. 160 pages. This 
work, which is exceedingly rare, is supposed to have been writ- 
ten by Gregory Shoman, and printed at Cracow. It is com- 
posed with the expressions of the Gospel : <^ dolose selectis et 
perverse addictis" as Walchius says. Vide his Bibliotheca 


The Holy Spirit is not God, but a gift, the ful- 
ness of which the Father has granted to his Son." 
The same confession prohibited to take oaths, or 
to sue before tribunals for any injury whatever. 
Sinners were to be admonished, but neither pe- 
nalties nor any other kind of persecution should 
ever be inj9icted. The church reserved only to 
itself the right of excluding refractory members. 
Baptism was to be administered only to adults, 
and considered as the sign of purification, which 
changes the old Adam into a heavenly one. The 
Eucharist was understood in the same manner as 
by the churches of Zurich. 

These doctrines were rapidly spreading, and 
many of the first persons in Poland became 
infected with them.* They attracted the notice 
of all the country, and it was in order to make 
an exposition of the differences which divided 
the Helvetian church from the Pinczovians that 
Modrzewski wrote, by the command of Sigis- 
mund Augustus, his Sylvae.^ He evinced in that 
work an anti-Trinitarian bias, although he did not 
approve the doctrines of the Pinczovians. The 
king issued, with the Diet of 1566, an ordinance 
that a public conference should take place, in 
order to pacify the reformed churches. There 
was no reasonable hope of attaining that object 

* " The Diet was filled with Arians," says Bielski. 
t Vide page 201. 


by such means ; but the conference took place in 
1566, at a Diet heW at Piotrkow. 
Pubiicdisputo The Conference was held in a solemn manner. 
the"reformed The Helvetian churches were represented on that 
TrinitetoM," occasion by Samicki, Sylvius (Lesniowolski), 
of Pto^o^to Andreas Prazmowski, Christopher Trzecieski, 
1566. rector of the school of Cracow, and John Rokita, 

minister of the Bohemian community at Kozmin. 
John Firley, palatine of Lublin, grand marshal 
of the crown, John Tomicki castellan of Gne- 
zno, and James Ostrorog were chosen as judges 
and witnesses by the same church. Stanislav 
MyszkowsJd, casteUafr-irf^Sandomir, was chosen 
by the same the director, and Nicholaus Dluski 
the secretary of the conference. The anti- 
Trinitarian party were represented by Gregory 
Pauli, minister of Racow, Gregory Shoman, 
minister of Lublin, Stanislav Paulewski, minister 
of the same place, Stanislav Lutomirski, superin- 
tendent of the anti-Trinitarian churches of Little 
Poland, John Lutomirski, castellan of Sieradz, 
Nicholaus Siennicki, sumamed for his eloquence 
the Demosthenes of Poland, and at that time 
marshal or chairman of the chamber of nuncios 
(house of commons). The direction was en- 
trusted to Hieronymus Filipowski, and John 
Kazanowski was chosen secretary. 

The Lutheran party did not take any part in 
that conference. The Roman Catholics, invited by 
the king to co-operate in the defence of the prin- 


cipal dogma of the Christian religion, seemed at 
first to be inclined to join the conference ; but after- 
wards refused, under pretence that the Roman see 
forbade to local assemblies the discussion of mat- 
ters of faith. There were four public meetings, in 
which the mystery of the Trinity was debated. 
The delegates of the Reformed churches defended 
it by the authority of the Gospel, supported by that 
of the fathers and of the first cecumenic councils. 
The anti-Trinitarians rejected the fathers as well 
as the councils in defending their doctrine. 
Gregory Pauli was their principal orator, and the 
leader of their party on that occasion.*' 

The meeting produced no effect, as both par- 
ties retained their former convictions. It is 
remarkable that the report of that conference 
was made to the king and the senate by Firley, 
palatine of Lublin, a staunch adherent of the 
Helvetian church, and to the chamber of nuncios 
by Sienicki, an anti-Trinitarian. We conclude 
for the present this sketch of the anti-Trinitarian 
sect in Poland, as we shall give our readers, in 
the second volume of this work, a detailed ac- 
count of their further and ultimate development, 
until their final expulsion from the country. 

* ** Plcumit magrue parti nobilitatis, rege Sigismundo permU" 
tente^ colloquium de religione instituere Gregorius Paulus dux 
karesis, " Posse vini Opera Colonise, 1587-95. 


efforts made by the protestants to effect a 
union of their churches, and accomplishment 
of that object, by the consent of sandomir 
(consensus sandomiriensis). 

Notwithstanding the disturbances created in 
the reformed church by the anti-Trinitarians, and 
the deep injury which it inflicted on the cause of 
the Reformation in Poland, the Protestants did 
not lose sight of the important project of uniting 
the three churches of Polahd, viz. the Reformed 
or Helvetiap, the Bohemian^r, as it was often 
called, the\Valdensian^€tiia the Lutheran. This 
union once firmly established, would have given 
to the Protestant party an irresistible strength, 
and insured its speedy triumph over the Roman 
church, which was enabled to resist their attacks 
not so much by its own strength as by the deplo- 
rable dissensions of its antagonists. 


An important step towards the attainment of 
that great object was made by the union of the 
Helvetian with the Bohemian churches, effected 
by the synod of Kozminek in 1655,* and which 
deserved the warmest applause of the most 
eminent reformers of Europe.f This union was 
confirmed by the synod of Pinczov in 1 656, that 
of Vlodislav in 1667 and that of Xionz in 1660. 
The united churches endeavoured to extend their 
alliance to the Lutherans, and the synod of 
Vlodislav, presided over by the celebrated John 
Laski, or k Lasco, invited the Lutherans to join 
their union, but the invitation remained without 
effect. Laski enjoyed a paramount influence over 
the reformed churches of Poland, and he may 
be considered as having contributed the most 
to their establishment in his native land, and to 
the preponderance which they acquired over the 
other Protestant churches of that country. But he 
was by no means popular with the Lutherans ; and 
we have already had ample opportunity, in giving 
a sketch of the life and labours of that eminent 
reformer, to mention the persecutions to which 
he had been exposed by the bigoted Lutherans. 

■ ■ ■ - ■ — ' — -----.--- - I III ■ 1 1 - ■ - ■ ■ ^^^ — 

* Vide page 842. 

f **De vestro cum Valdensibus^* (Bohemian Brethren), 
consensu optima quceque spero vobis omnibus seduh danda est 
opera ut hoec pia conspiratio magis ac magis sanciaturm'^-Jjei^r 
of Calvin to Karminski. 


The hatred which the Lutherans of Germany 
and Denmark bore to Laski was communicated 
to those of Poland, and they rejected the invi- 
tation of the above-mentioned synod. The at- 
tempt which was made at the Lutheran synod of 
Gluchow in 1567, to promote that great object, 
instead of appeasing rather increased the diffi- 
opposition of culties. The united churches delegated to that 

the Lutherans . . i t^ i • 

to the union of syuod, as their representatives, the Bohemian 
testant ministers Israel, Drzewinski, Laurentius, and 

Poland. Rokita; but Laski, who probably had foreseen 

the irritation of the Lutherans, did not join 
it. Experience proved that he was right in 
following that course, as the Lutherans read 
publicly at that synod the work of Westphalus, 
which, as we have already mentioned,* was a 
bitter and unmerited invective against Laski. 
This preposterous step naturally gave offence to 
the followers of the Helveto- Bohemian churches, 
and increased the difficulties to the accomplish- 
ment of a union between them and the Lu- 
therans. The Bohemian church was meanwhile 
rapidly increasing under the direction of George 
Israel, whose great merit and devotion to its cause 
rendered him worthy of becoming its ruler. Its 
synod, which assembled at Slezany in Moravia, 
was composed of no less than two hundred 
ministers from Moravia and Poland, besides 

* Vide page 265. 


many noblemen and other laymen from both 
countries. The Lutherans did not, however, cease 
to attack it with accusations of heresy, and the 
Bohemian churchy which had much at heart the 
union of all Protestants, adopted a wise measure 
in order to obtain a solemn and decisive evidence 
of its orthodoxy. It sent a deputation to the 
Protestant churches of Germany with the object 
of restoring the spiritual community established 
with Luther,* and to remove by it the ill-will 
of his followers which impeded the accomplish- 
ment of the desired union. The deputation, a deputation 
composed of James Rokita and Peter Herbert, Bohemiwi* ^ 
was favourably received by Wolfgang, palatine of the^chlef re- 
the Rhine, as well as by Christopher, duke of jEuTope^who 
Wirtemberg ; and the confession of their church eSSfrsion.^"" 
was found free from errors, and comformable to 
the doctrines of the Gospel. The duke of Wir- 
temberg recommended by his letters the Bohe- 
mian church to Nicholaus prince Radziwill, Lu- 
kas Gorka, palatine of Posnania, and Stanislav 
Ostrorog. Rokita returned to Poland furnished 
with evidence sufficient to repel the attacks of 
the Lutherans at home and abroad ; but Herbert 
extended his journey, and visited the most emi- 
nent reformers and the principal Protestant 
schools of Germany and Switzerland, in order to 
submit to their approbation the confession of his 

* Vide page 148. 
VOL. I. 2 B 


church : he fully attained his object, and Sulcer 
at Basil, Peter Martyr and Bullinger at Zurich, 
Calvin, Viret, and Beza at Geneva, and Musculus 
at Berne, gave a most flattering evidence in its 
favour. Such eminent authorities silenced for a 
time the ill-will of the Lutherans, and they sent 
delegates to the synod of Xionz in September 
1560; but these delegates remained passive audi- 
tors, instead of taking an active part at the 
deliberations of the synod, because, as they said, 
they came only in order to listen and to investi- 
gate, and not to direct, as they had no powers for 
concluding a religious communion. This synod 
Synods of introduced the final organization of the united 
Posnania con. churches, and strengthened their alliance by a 

vened in order . !/••>• /» • ^ rr'i 

to promote that morc prccisc definition oi some points, ibe 
union. views of the united churches were somewhat 

advanced at the synod of Posnania assembled on 
the 1st November of the same year, and which 
was very numerous, being composed of many 
noblemen and ministers from Grand and Little 
Poland. The Lutherans showed themselves less 
obstinately adverse to the establishment of a 
union, and the eighth canon of that synod recom- 
mended to seek the means of accomplishing this 
desideratum. The greatest obstacle to the union 
was the strict dogmatical spirit of the Lutherans, 
who refused to surrender even points of minor 
importance. They exacted the most absolute 
identity, and could not be satisfied with a perfect 


similarity of doctrines. The understanding which 
was beginning to be established was moreover 
troubled by foreign instigations. lUiricus Flacius* 
had already sent (1658,) an emissary to Poland, 
in order to prevent the projected union, and his 
adherents zealously promoted this object. The 
inj9uence of Illiricus Flacius was however over- 
come, and foreign malevolence would not have 
injured the accomplishment of the union, if it had 
not been equally impeded by domestic agitation. ' 
The Bohemian Brethren established their church 
at Thorn as early as in 1549, although they 
could not publicly perform divine service. Mor- 
genstern, the Lutheran pastor of St. Mary's Morgenstem, 

, , . . , ^ , - , the Lutheran 

church m that place, a man of a quarrelsome pastor of 

.. -I/* -ii*^-i*-i -I ^Thorn, a zea« 

temper and of a narrow and bigoted mmd, eyed jous opponent 
with aversion the Bohemian church independent mian Bremen. 
of his jurisdiction, and endeavoured to subject it 
to his authority. The brethren refused to ac- 
knowledge his pretensions, and persisted in main- 

* Illiricus Flacius^ whose real name was Francowich, was a 
Slavonian, born in 1520, at Albona in lUyria. After having 
studied under Luther and Melancthon, he became, in 1544i, 
professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg; whence having been 
driven twice, he received the professorship of divinity at Jena, 
in 1557. The theological quarrels in which he took a violent 
part, exposed him to many persecutions, and obliged him 
frequently to change the place of his residence. He died in 
1575, and he acquired a justly earned reputation for having 
been the founder of the Centuria Magdeburgensis^ (the first 
Protestant work on Ecclesiastical History.) 

2 B 2 


taining their ancient confession, as well as their 
ecclesiastical discipline, much more strict and 
pure than that by which the Lutherans were 
governed at that time. After many delays, Lau- 
rentius, minister of the Bohemians, openly stated 
the reasons wherefore they refused to submit 
their congregation to the direction of the Luthe- 
rans. He declared that there was no real reform 
of manners amongst the followers of the Augustan 
confession; that their priests could not, on 
account of their not very pious life, serve as 
patterns to the church; that this church did not 
possess an organized hierarchy, that a great 
disunion prevailed amongst its members, and 
that its doctrines and ceremonies were in a state 
of confusion. Finally, the Bohemians com- 
plained that the Lutheran clergy were appointed 
by civil authorities, regarding it as injurious to 
the independence as well as the spiritual direc- 
tion of the church. Laurentius did not, how- 
ever, decidedly reject a union, but he referr edit 
to the supreme authority of his church. Mor- 
genstern, provoked by this opposition to his au- 
thority, attacked the Bohemians from the pulpit 
and charged them with heresy. After some 
discussions the Bohemians resolved, for the sake 
of maintaining peace amongst the Protestants, to 
submit their church to the authority of the Lu- 
therans, but they stipulated for the preservation 
of its internal organization. This compact was 


made at the conference of the 8th October 1663. 
Many Bohemians, however, avoided the Lutheran 
service, which caused Morgenstem to preach 
against them some very harsh sermons. Since 
that time the !^phemian church of Thorn seems 
to have dwindled away, as Lutheranism became 
entirely predominant at that place; and Mor- 
genstem resigned also his functions in 1567* 
perhaps Hbeing compelled to take this step by 
his ungovernable temper, which created him 
many enemies. 

The Lutherans continued to show on many The Lutheran 
occasions their ill will to the Bohemians, but at SSifj^oweT 
their synod, assembled at Posnania on the 28th BrethJ'en of*" 
January 1567, it was manifested with particular "g^eS^tf- 
violence. Erasmus Gliczner, superintendent of "®*^- 
the Lutheran churches of Grand Poland, who 
presided over that synod, supposed that the 
Bohemians might be prevailed upon to frame 
their confession entirely according to the Lu- 
theran tenets, and he urged the Bohemian 
representatives, Laurentius and Israel, to accept 
the confession of Augsburg, representing that 
it was received by the Protestants of Germany. 
Israel did not attack the above-mentioned con- 
fession, but he defended that of his church as 
untainted by any errors contrary to the Gospel, 
and which, by submitting to the dogmatical 
definitions of the Lutheran divines, would by the 
same acknowledge that it had been hitherto in 


error. The Bohemians demanded that the Lu- 
therans should point out those differences and 
errors of their church, by which they were 
offended, and promised to give a satisfactory 
answer to all the objections. The synod pro- 
mised to enumerate the dogmatical errors of 
the Bohemian church, and to give a judgment 
of their confession. The synod did not adopt, 
however, any resolution to that purpose during 
its meetings, at it was only after they had been 
concluded that the Bohemians received a string 
of accusations against their confession. They 
were written by Morgenstem, and there is a 
doubt whether he had not done it without the 
authorization of the synod. The Bohemian 
church was accused of the following . errors : 
That it did not believe that Christ was invisibly 
v^resent on the earth ; that its doctrine concerning 
^ the mission of the Holy Ghost was very near that 
of the Tritheists, because they believed that he 
dwelt amongst the faithful in lieu of the personal 
presence of Christ. That it considered itself as 
the only one Catholic orthodox church. That 
its doctrine about repentance was erroneous, 
as they maintained that contrition, which is the 
first part of repentance, was produced by faith, 
whilst on the contrary faith followed contrition. 
That it exacted from the catechumens a repetition 
of the promise made at their baptism, which 
was in some measure a repetition of the baptism 


itself, and a .papistical and anabaptistical error ; 
that it ascribed salvation only to good works, 
and consequently condemned the confession of 
Augsburg, which maintains that good works 
are not necessary for obtaining salvation, because 
it was wrought solely by faith. It maintained 
that sermons were not the word of God ; that 
it did not teach, with the orthodox church, that 
man was justified only by the grace of God. 
That the same church, by its confession pre- 
sented in 1504 to Vladislav Jaguellon, king 
of Bohemia, established in common with the 
Antichrist seven sacraments; that it denied the 
real and true presence of Christ under the figure 
of bread and wine ; and finally, that it rejected 
the civil authorities, and instituted for its mem- 
bers its own independent jurisdiction** 

The Bohemians immediately published an Answer of the 

. .^11 t 1 Bohemian 

answer to that accusation. They expressed that Brethren to 

^1. 1 ii«i ^1 ji • ''ii that accusation. 

their church did not deny the invisible presence 
of Jesus Christ in this world ; that its doctrine 
about the Holy Ghost was in accordance with 
the Gospel of St. John, chapter xiv. ver. 26, 
and chap. xvi. ver. 7 ; that the Bohemian 

* These accusations were embodied in a work entitled : — 
" Arnica et fratema adnotatio navorum et verborum minus rede 
posttoruniy in cowfessumefratrum quos Valdenses vacant, proposita 
in synodo Posnania, 28 Junii 1567, celehrato a ministris con- 
fessionie Augustams iisdem fratrihus Valdensihus in duodecim 
partes distincta.** 


church considered itself only as a part of the 
Catholic church, and called its own that number 
of faithful who were under its superintendence. 
It maintained that repentance should be preceded 
by the acknowledgment of the law and of sin 
( fides generaUs)ih\xt that contrition was followed 
by confidence (fides specialist A catechumen was 
obliged on approaching the communion table to 
renew the obligation which the sponsors had 
accepted for him at his baptism. Grood works 
were considered as fruits of a living faith, which 
every Christian was obliged to do ; not that he 
might obtain by this the pardon of his sins, but 
in order to prove his obedience to God and the 
sincerity of his faith. Sermons in accordance 
with the Gospels are the word of God. It is 
grace and not good works which operates sal- 
vation. The Bohemian church at the time of 
Huss admitted seven sacraments ; but the confes- 
sion presented to king Ferdinand acknowledged 
only two, viz. the baptism and the eucharist, 
whilst the apology of the Augustan confession 
admitted, besides the two above-mentioned sa- 
craments, that of absolution. The Bohemian 
church believed that the eucharist was received 
only sacraxnentally by the spirit,, and not car- 
nally. It acknowledged the civil magistrate, 
although it endeavoured to settle minor difife- 
rences amongst their members by ks own autho- 


rities, leaving the more important to the laws 
of the country.* This apology of the Bohemian 
church did not satisfy the Lutherans, who found 
therein some obscurity, and pretended that it was 
not in accordance with a strictly evangelical 
confession. It was therefore agreed on both 
sides that it should be submitted to the judg- 
ment of the divines of Wittenberg, which was 
to be final ; and should it prove favourable, no 
new objections against the union of the Bohe- 
mian and Lutheran churches of Poland were 
to be raised. 

The Bohemian church deputed Laurentius, 
and gave him as an assistant John Polykarpus. 
They were most favourably received, February 
1.8th 1568, by the theological faculty of Witten- 
berg, coniposed Qf Paul £ber, at that time dean 
of the faculty, George Major, Paul Crellius, and 
the celebrated Caspar Peucer,t who, although he 
was not in orders, exerted a great influence 

* This answer is entitled :— -^^ Bespansh brevis et sincera 
Jratrum quos Valdenses vacant ad tubvos ex apologia ipsorum 
exceptor a ministria confessumi Augustance, S^c.S^c.'* It was 
written by Laurentius. 

f Caspar Peucer, son-in-law of Melanctlion,born at Bautzen 
in Saxony^ 1525^ was one of the most learned men of his 
time. Being accused of crypto-Calvinism, or of secretly main- 
taining the tenets of Calvin, he was thrown by the strict 
Lutheran party into a severe prason, where he remained for 
many years. When released, he retired to the duke of 



^r^'^to^hc ^'^ "matters connected with divinity. The apo- 
judgment of logy of the Bohemian church was examined and 

the divines of ^"^ 

Wittenberg, declared orthodox, and in accordance with the 

who decide it 

infiiTourofthe confcssion of Augsburg. Eber said, in a speech 

Bohemians. , ^ Gf 

which he held on that occasion, " the brethren 
of Bohemia and Moravia professed since long time 
a pure doctrine ; they believe the same that we 
do, although they have retained some outward 
ceremonies, dissimilar from those which are used 
by us. They are neither Anabaptists nor enemies 
of the faith. It is wrong to act against them 
either in public or in private, and to abuse them 
from the pulpits. They are our brethren, and 
deserving of our Christian good- will." 

The school of Wittenberg did not exercise at 
that time a decisive authority over the Lutheran 
churches, of which many accused it, as also of 
leaning to the doctrines of the Helvetian church, 
or being, as it was called, infected by Philipism.* 
The divines of Wittenberg felt their delicate posi- 
tion, and Eber, in promising to the delegates of the 
Bohemian church a most satisfactory evidence of 

Anhalt-Zerbst^ and died in 1602, as his phisician. He was 
no less distinguished by his science, than by the morality of 
his character. 

* Melancthon was much suspected of a strong bias to the 
doctrine of Calvin, about the Lord's supper, and these opinions, 
which were entertained by several divines of Wittenberg, were 
called on that account Philipism (from Philip Melancthon), 
or crypto-Calvinism. 


their orthodoxy, did not conceal from them his 
fears that it might not produce the desired effect. 
** The school of Wittenberg " said he, " is unable 
to exact obedience from those seditious minds, 
whose unbridled turbulence it is impossible to 
control by any restraint." He deplored at the 
same time the dissensions amongst the Lutheran 
churches and their pretended followers, express- 
ing that he should prefer a quiet retreat to the 
direction of the school of Wittenberg. In his 
letter addressed to Israel, chief of the Bohemian 
church in Poland, he bitterly complained of those 
disturbers, who by their falsehoods and scurrility 
disturbed the peace of the church, and like rabid 
dogs did not spare even the dead. The evidence 
of the school of Wittenberg, signed by P. Eber, 
G. Major, and Crellius, may be considered as a 
sentence passed on the accusations of the Luthe- 
ran synod of Posnania against the Bohemian 
church of Poland. After having deplored that 
the followers of the confession of Augsburg, had 
caused a disunion amongst the Protestantchurches, 
it declared that the confession of the Bohemian 
church contained a pure doctrine, and that it 
had no obscurities; that the Bohemian and 
Lutheran churches were for a long time united 
by the bonds of a spiritual community ; and that 
Luther himself had solemnly revoked, in 1542, the 
unfavourable opinion which he had expressed on a 
former occasion, and had given the most flattering 


evidence in its favour.* It firmly declared, that the 
accusations of the synod of Posnania were null 
and void, and recommended to those who had 
preferred them, that henceforward they should 
be more just, as was becoming the teachers of a 
divine religion. 

The sentence of the school of Wittenberg 
seems to have produced a better effect than its 
framers had anticipated, and the Lutherans 
desisted after that time from their attacks on 
the Bohemian church. The union between the 
Protestant churches of Poland was now rapidly 
advancing, and the town of Sandomir was chosen 
for the convocation of a synod, where the de- 
puties of the above-mentioned churches were to 
meet together in order to accomplish that impor- 
tant work. 

The year 1 66© was marked by one of the most 
important events of our history, the union of 
Poland and Lithuania, accomplished by the Diet 
of Lublin.f The principal noblemen belonging 

♦ Vide page 148. 

f Lithuania and Poland were hitherto united only by a com- 
mon sovereign^ who was hereditary in the first and elective in 
the second of those countries. By the act of the union the 
king resigned his hereditary rights to Lithuania^ and became 
electiji^e monarch of both the countries^ whose legislative body 
was united into one, although their administration, laws, and 
military establishment remained separate. This order of things 
lasted, with a few modifications, till the dissolution of Poland. 

^- ~■^ 


to the three Protestant communions of Poland, 
assembled at that Diet, resolved to promote by all 
means a union of their respective churches, and 
to accomplish it in the following year, expecting 
that Sigismund Augustus, who had. many times 
expressed a wish to see such a union effected, 
would at last be decided to embrace Protestant- 
ism. The king gave at that Diet a kind of 
solemn countenance to Protestantism, by assist- 
ing with all his court, senate, and foreign minis*- 
ters, at the funeral of a Protestant, the grand 
general of the crown, Sieniawski, a celebrated 
warrior, who died at the advanced age of eighty- 

The synod of Posnania, February 13th 1570, 
and that of Yilna, March 2d in the same year, 
prepared the ground for the intended union by 
removing many dijficulties thrown in its way 
by the Lutheran divines. 

The synod of Sandomir was composed of seve/ The synoi^f 
ral noblemen and ministers belonging to th<i 1570, effecw 

the desired' 

three Protestant churches of Poland. Those*' Amipn. 
who held anti-Trinitarian doctrines were exclud- 
ed from any participation in its deliberations. 
Myszkowski, palatine of Cracow, Zborowski, 
palatine of Sandomir, and Stanislav Ivan Kar- 
minski, were elected from the lay members, as 
presidents of the synod, and from the clergy, 
Gilowski and Pmzmowski, ministers of the 
Helvetian church, and Sokolowski, minister of 



the same confession, was chosen secretary. The 
meetings of the synod began on the 9th April, 
and lasted till the 14th of the same month. 
Great difficulties were raised by the two bro- 
thers, Erasmus and Nicholaus Gliczner, who 
were the leaders of the Lutheran party,, and 
who insisted on the confession of Augsburg 
being received by the Helvetian as well as the 
Bohemian churches. This, of course, could not 
be acceded to by the other parties, and there 
was great danger that the synod would have 
separated without having attained the object 
of its convocation. At last, the efforts of the 
palatines of Cracow and Sandomir (Myszkow- 
ski and Zborowski), who entreated the parties 
not to injure by their dissensions the cause of 
the Reformation in the presence of such a 
formidable enemy as the Roman Catholic 
church, and who at the same time hinted at the 
possibility that the king himself might join 
that cause, having been hitherto prevented from 
making that step by the deplorable dissensions 
which divided the Protestants amongst them- 
selves, produced the desired effects ; the Luthe- 
rans desisted from their opposition, and the 
following agreement between the representa- 
tives of the Hel veto- Bohemian and Lutheran 
churches of Poland was signed on the 14th 
April 1570. 



" Act of the religious union between the Act of the con- 
churches of Grand and Little Poland, Russia, mir. 
Lithuania and Samogitia, which had hitherto 
appeared to differ from each other in respect 
to the confessions of Augsburg, Bohemia, and 
Switzerland, concluded at Sandomir on the 14th 
April 1570. 

" After many and long disputes with the sects j^^,y^ 
of Tritheists, Ebionites and Anabaptists,* and 
having been delivered by divine mercy from all 
those great and deplorable contentions, the 
reformed orthodox churches of Poland, which 
(according to the report of the enemies of the 
truth and Gospel), do not appear to be una- 
nimous in several points and formula of their 
doctrine, have resolved, from love of peace and 
concord, to convoke a synod, and to testify a 

'< Consensus mutuus in religionis Christians capitibus^ inter Consensus 
ecclesias Majoris et Minoris Poloniae, Russiae^ Lithuaniae, et Sa- Sandomirien- 
mogitiaSy etc,, quae juxta confessionem Augustanam, Fratrum 
Bobemiarum^ et Helveticam, aliquomodo a se dissentire vide- 
bantur; factus in synodo Sandomiriensi, anno domini 1570, 
14 Aprilis. 

'^ Posteaquam diu multumque cum sectariis Tritheistis^ Ebio- 
nistis, Anabaptistis conflictatum erat^ ac tandem divinft favore 
extat, tantisque certaminibus et deplorandis contentionibus 
emeruimus visum ut iisdem ecclesias Poloniis reformatis et or- 
thodoxis^ quae in quibusdam capitibus et formulis doctrinae 
(hostibus veritatis et evangelii) unanime consentire videbantur^ 

* By these names were designated the Anti-Trinitarians. 



complete unanimity amongst themselves. We 
have therefore held a friendly and Christian 
conference, and established with united hearts 
the following points: — Firstly, that neither we 
who have delivered at the present synod our creed, 
nor the Bohemian Brethren, had ever believed 
that the followers of the confession of Augsburg 
maintained other than pious and orthodox doc- 
trines about God, the Holy Trinity, the incar- 
nation of the Son of God, the justification, and 
other principal points of our religion. In the 
same manner the followers of the confession of 
Augsburg have sincerely testified that they do 
not find in the creed of our churches, as vvell 
as in that of the Bohemian Brethren (whom 
some ignorant persons call Waldensians), any 
doctrines about God, the Holy Trinity, the 

pads et concordias studio sjnodum convocare, atque cousensio- 
nem mutuam testari. Quare^ habita coUatione arnica et Chris- 
tiana, ac junctis compositisque animis consentimus in hsec 

'^Primum, quemadmodum et nos qui in praesenti synodo 
confessionem nostram edidimus^ et fratres nunquam credidimus^ 
eo8 qui Augustanam confessionem amplectantur, aliter quam 
pie et orthodoxe sentire de Deo et sancta Trinitate atque incar- 
natione filii Dei> et justificatione nostra^ aliisque capitibus 
praecipuis fidei nostrae: Ita etiam ii^ qui Augustanam confession 
nem sequuntur, professi sunt candide et sincere se vicissim 
tam de nostrarum ecclesiarum^ quam ac de Fratrum Bohemia- 
rum (quas quidam rerum ignari Waldenses vocant), confes- 
sione de Deo et sancta Trinitate^ incamatione filii Dei, justifica- 



incarnation of the Son of God, the justification, 
and other principal points of Christian religion 
which are not in accordance with true orthodoxy 
and the pure word of God. 

"At the same time we have entered into a 
mutual and sacred obligation to defend unani- 
mously, and according to the injunctions of the 
word of God, this our covenant in the true and 
pure religion of Christ against the followers 
of the Roman church, the sectarians, as well as 
all the enemies of truth and Gospel. 

" What concerns the unfortunate dispute 
about the Lord's Supper, we have agreed to 
maintain the meaning of the words of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, as they have been expounded by the 
fathers of the church, and particularly by Ireneus, 
who says, * that this mystery consists of two 
things — one earthly, and the other heavenly. We 
do not say that they are only elements or vain 
symbols, but that at the same time they are, in 

tione, et aliis primariis capitibus fidei Christians^, nil agnoscere, 
quod sit absonum ab orthodoxa veritate et puro verbo Dei. 

^' Ibique, sancte invicem poUiciti sumus, unanimiter secun- 
dum regulam verbi Dei^ nos defensuros consensum hunc mu- 
tuum in vera et pur^ Christi religione contra pontificios, contra 
sectarios, contra denique omnes hostes evangelii et veritatis. 

^' Deinde vero^ quantum ad infelix illud dissidium de Coena 
Domini attinet, convenimus in sententia verborum Domini nostri 
Jesu Christi^ ut ilia orthodoxe intellecta sunt a Patribus^ ac 
imprimis Irenoeo^ qui duabus rebus, scilicet terreno et ccelesti, 
hoc mysterium constare dixit r * Neque elementa signave nuda 

VOL. I. 2 C 



fact, sufficient to the believers, and impart by 
faith what they signify. And in order to express 
ourselves w^ith more precision and clearness, we 
have agreed to believe and to confess that the 
substantial presence of Christ is not only signi- 
fied, but really represented in the communion 
to those who receive it (vescentibus)^ and that 
the body and blood of our Lord are distributed 
and given with the symbols of the thing itself, 
which, according to the nature of sacraments, 
are by no means bare signs. 

'' But, that no disputes should originate from a 
difference of expressions, it has been resolved to 
add to the articles inserted into our confession, 
the article of the confession of the Saxon churches 
relating to the Lord's Supper, which was sent in 
1551 to the council of Trent, and which we 
acknowledge as pious, and do receive. Its ex- 
pressions are as follows : ' The Baptism and the 

et vana ilia esse asserimus, sed simul, re ipsa, credentibus ex- 
hibere et pnestare fide, quod significant^ denique^ ut expressius 
clariusque loquamur^ convenimus^ ut credamus et confiteamur 
substantialem prsesentiam Christi non significari duntaxat^ sed 
vere in ccena eo vescentibus reprssentari, distribui et exhibere 
corpus et sanguinem Domini, symbolis adjectis rei ipsi^ minime 
dudis, secundum sacramentorum naturam.' 

*' Ne vero diversitas formularum loquendi contentionem ali- 
quam pariat, placuit praeter articulum qui est insertus nostrse 
confessioni, mutuo consensu adscribere articulum confessionis 
Saxonicarum ecclesiarum de Ccena Domini, ad Tridentinum 
concilium, anno domini M^DLI misss. Quem etiam pium 




Lord's Supper are signs and testimonies of grace, 
as it has been said before, which remind us 
of the promise and of the redemption, and show 
that the benefits of the Gospel belong to all 
those who make use of these rites/ &c. 

" Moreover, that none is admitted to the 
communion table if he has not previously been 
examined and absolved by the pastor or his 
assistant. In such examinations less informed 
people (rudiores) are examined and instructed in 
all the doctrines of religion before they receive 
absolution. We also teach men that the sacra- 
ments are acts^ established by God, and that, 
unless used as it is instituted by the Lord, these 
things are not of themselves sacraments. But 
in the established use of the communion, Christ 
is substantially present, and the body and blood 
of Christ are truly given to those who receive 

agnosdmus et recipiimis» citjus eonfessionis hmc sunt verba r — 
' £t baptismus et Coena Domini sunt pignora et testimonia gra- 
tis^ ut antea dictum est^ quae de promi^sione et tota redemptione 
nos commonefaciunt et ostendunt, beneficia evangelii ad sin- 
gulos pertinere qui his ritibus utuntur, etc. Item nee admit- 
tuntur uUi ad communionem^ nisi prius a pastore aut coUega 
ejus auditi sint, et absoluti. In hac exploratione interrogantur 
et erudiimtur rudicN'es de tota doctrina, et deinde absolutio pro- 
mulgatur. Docentur etiam homines, sacramenta esse actiones 
divinitus institutas,et extra usum institutum res ipsas non habere 
radonem sacramenti, sed in usu instituto^ in hac communione 
vere et substantialiter adesse Christum et vere exhiberi sumenti- 

2 C 2 




the communion, and all the words of that 

" And in order to confirm this holy and 
mutual consent by a strong bond, we have agreed 
that, as the Saxon churches have acknow- 
ledged our confession delivered in this synod, 
as well as that of the Bohemian Brethren, to be 
orthodox^ we are to act towards them with the 
same Christian love, and equally declare them 
orthodox. We will at the same time abolish and 
bury in eternal oblivion all the contentions, 
troubles, and dissensions, w^hich have hitherto 
impeded the progress of the Gospel, not without 
a great offence to many pious souls, and which 
have afforded to our enemies opportunities for 
calumniating us, and for attacking our true Chris- 
tian religion ; but on the contrary, we will oblige 
ourselves to maintain peace and tranquillity, to 

bus corpus et sanguinem Christi. Testari Christum, quod sit 
in ets et faciat eos sibi membra et quod abluerit eos sanguine &c. 
Omnia hujus articuli verba integra. Hujus autem sancti mu- 
tuique consensus, vincylum fore arbitrati sumus, conveni- 
m usque, ut quemadmodum illi nos, nostrasque Ecclesias et 
confessionem nostrara in hac synodo publicatam, et Fratrum, 
orthodoxas esse testantur. Sic etiam nos il]orum ecclesias, 
eodem Christiano amore prosequaraur et orthodoxas fateamur ; 
extremumque vale dicamus et altum silentium imponimus 
omnibus rixis, distractionibus, dissidiis, quibus Evangelii 
cursus, non sine maxima multorum piorum olfensione, impedi- 
tus est et unde adversariis nostris, non levis calumiandi et vers 
Christianae religioni nostrse contradicendi, occasio sit subminis- 


live in mutual love, and conjointly promote, in 
accordance with this our brotherly union, the 
edification of the church. 

" At the same time, we conjointly oblige 
ourselves to invite and persuade our brethren 
to join, maintain, and promote this our una- 
nimous and Christian union, particularly by the 
audition of the word of God and the use of 
sacraments with the congregations belonging to 
one as well as to the other confession ; maintain- 
ing, however, the order of the discipline as well 
as the rites of every church, as the present union 
leaves free to every church its rites and cere- 
monies ; because it is of little importance what 
rites are observed, provided the doctrine itself 
and the foundation of our faitb and salvation 

trata. Quin potius pad et tranquiUitati publics studere^ chari- 
tatem mutuam^ et operas mutuas ad «dificationem ecclesiae^ pre 
fraterna conjunctione nostra^ praestare debemus. 

*^ Ad hac recipimus mutuo consensu^ omni studio nostris 
Fratribus omnibus persuasuros, atque eos invituros ad hune 
Christianum et unanimem consensum amplectendum, colendura 
et conseryandum, illumque alendum obsignandumque^prsecipue 
auditione verbi (frequentando tarn hujus quam alteriu^ confes- 
sionis coetus) et sacramentorum usu : observato tamen recto 
ordine et gradu tarn disciplinae quam consuetudinis unius- 
cujusque ecclesiae;. 

'' Ritus autem et ceremonias unius cuj usque ecclesise^ liberos 
banc concordi^ et conjunctione relinquimus. Non enim mul- 
tum refertj qui ritus observatur, modo tota et incorrupta existat 
ipsa doctrina et fundamentum fidei ac salutis nostrae. Quern- 


remain pure and unadulterated ; which is alsro 
taught by the confessions of Augsburg and 
Saxony, and which we have also expressed in our 
own confession delivered at this present synod 
of Sandomir. Wherefore, we promise mutually 
,to assist ourselves with advice and actions of 
l^ Christian love, and to promote by all possible 
means the growth of the orthodox and reformed 
churches in Poland, Lithuania, Samogitia, &c. 
as members of the same body. And when they 
(the churches of Lithuania and Samogitia) in- 
tend to hold general synods, they shall inform 
us of it, and they likewise shall make no diffi- 
culties in appearing at our general synods, when 
they may be called to them. In order to give to 
this agreement and brotherly society the necessary 
stability, we think it proper that we should as- 

admodum et ipsa confessio Augustana et Saxonica, de ea re 
docent : et in hac oonfessioiie nostra, in prcegenti synodo 
Sandcnniriensi publicata, id ipsum expressimus. Quaniobrem 
consilia officiave charitatis muiua inter nos conferri et in poste- 
rum de conservatione et incremento omnium totius regni, 
lithuanis^ Samogitis^ piarum, orthodoxarum, et Reformatarum 
ecclesiarum, tanquam de uno corpore con&ulere^ poUicid sumus 
ac recipimus. £t si quando synodos generales celebrabunt^ 
nobis quoque significent, et ad nostras etiara generales vocati 
non gravatim veniant^ si opus fuerit^ atque ut Colophonem huic 
consensui et mutuae concordias iroponamus^ ad banc fratemam 
societatem conservandam^ tuendamque non incommodum fore 
putamus, in locum certum convenire^ ubi una ex mutuis con£ss- 
sionibus^ compendium corporis doctrinas (improbitate bostium 


semble at certain places, to make there (wlienever 
the enemies of the truth compel us to do so) 
a summary of our confessions, and publish it, in 
order to silence invidious people, to the great 
consolation of the pious, doing it in the name of 
all the reformed churches of Poland, Lithuania, 
and Samogitia which agree with our confession. 

" After having mutually given each other our 
hands, we have made a sacred promise faithfully 
to maintain the peace and faith, and to promote it 
every day more and more for the edification of 
the word of God, and carefully to avoid all 
occasions of dissension, 

** Finally, w^ do oblige ourselves not to seek 
our ovm interest, but, as it becomes the true 
servants of God, to seek only the glory of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, and to spread the truth of 
his Gospel by words and deeds. 

veritatis ad id adacti) eliceremus et in publicum ederemus^ ut 
invidorum hominum ora obturarentur^ cum maximo omnium 
piorum solatio^ sub titulo omnium ecdesiarum Polonicarum 
reformatarum, et Lithuanicarum, et Samogiticarum nostrae con- 
fessioni consentientium. 

*' Datis igitur junctisque dextris sancte promisimus et reci- 
pimus invicem omnes^ fidem et pacem colere, favere et in dies 
ad sedificationem Regni Dei, magis magisque amplificare velle 
omnesque occasiones distractionis ecdesiarum evitaturos. De- 
nique se immemores et oblitos sui ipsius, ut veros Dei ministros 
decet^ solius Jesu Christi salvatoris nostri gloriam promoturos 
et Evangelii ipsius veritatem propagaturos, turn dictis^ tum 
factis^ redpimus. Quod ut fcelix, rectum, firmumque sit in 


** And that it may last for ever prosperously, 
fiirm, and without infraction, we ardently pray to 
God the Father, who is the author and the 
abundant source of all comfort and peace, who 
has snatched us and our churches from the dense 
darkness of popery, and gifted them with the light 
of his pure word and holy truth, that he should 
bless this our holy peace, concord, union, and 
covenant, to the glory of his name and edifi- 
cation of his church. Amen. 

*^ Behold how good and how pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in amity." Psalm 133. 

perpetuum, oramus ardentibus votis Deum Patrem totius 
consolationis et pads auctorem et fontem uberrimum, qui nos 
nostrasque ecclesias ex densis Papatu tenebris eripuit^ donavit- 
que puro verbi sui et Sacramento veritatis lumine. Hancque 
nostram sanctam pacem, confessionem^ conjunctionem et 
unionem benedicere, ad sui nominis gloriam et ecclesise aedifica- 
tionem velit. Amen. 

*' Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in 
unum/ Psalm 133. 

This act was signed by the following names : 
Stanislav Myszkowski, palatine of Cracow ; Pe- 
ter Zborowski, palatine of Sandomir ; Stanislav 
Bninski, in the name of Lukas Gorka, palatine of 
Posnania,and in that of John Tomicki, castellan 
of Gnezno, as well as in the name of all the 
churches of the confession of Augsburg in Grand 


Poland : Stanislav Chrzonstowski, minister of 
the Helvetian church of Jazlowietz, in the name 
of "George Jazlowietzki, palatine of Russia, and 
all the Protestants of that province : Sigismund 
Myszkowski, starost of Oswiecim ; Erasmus 
Gliczner, superintendent of the churches of the 
Augsburgian confession, in his own name and in 
that of all his fellow-ministers in Grand Poland : 
Nicholaus Gliczner, Lutheran senior of the dis- 
trict of Posnania ; Andreas Prazmowski, minister 
of the Helvetian church ofRadziejow in Cujavia; 
Symon Theophilus Turnowski, diaconus of the 
Bohemian Brethren ; Stanislav Sarnicki, senior of 
the Helvetian churches of the district of Cracow ; 
James Sylvius, senior of the same churches in 
the district of Chenciny; Paul Gilowski, idem 
of the districts of Zator and Oswiecin ; Matthias 
Rakow, minister of Krylow, in the name of the 
nobles of the palatinate of Belz : Stanislav Ivan 
Karminski, elected rector, or notarius colloqui, 
of the synod ; Daniel Chrobewski and Adam 
Rozanka, doctors of medicine, both aldermen of 
the town of Cracow ; Christopher Trecius, senior 
of the Helvetian churches of the town of Cracow ; 
Stanislav Marcianus, minister of the same 
church of Dziewaltow (in Lithuania), and deputy 
of prince Wisniowietski ; Walenty Brzozowski, 
minister of Dobrkow, senior of the Helvetian 
churches of Podgorze; Andreas of Kruswitza, 
minister of the same confession at Lisovo in 


Cujavia; Peter Tarnowski, minister at Dem- 

Eoaetmeiiu ai According to an agreement which was made 
Poso^u!! At the same synod, another meeting of that kind 
to^c/dlfe-* was convoked at Posnania on the 18th May 
reSSuSoM ^^ the same year, in order to confirm and develope 
ST&id^i^' the enactments of the synod of Sandomir. It 

consisted of many noblemen and ministers be- 
■ ' ■ ■ ■ ' I ■ 1 1 ■ .11 1 

* This consensus has had the following editions : Ist. ** Con^ 
sentus sive ooncordia in Jide et religicne Christiana, inter eccle^ 
sias evangelicas majoris et minoris Polonia, magnique ducaius 
Lithuania et caterarum ejus regni provinciarum, prima Sando- 
miria anno 1570^ in synodo generali sancita et deinceps in aliis 
ac demutn Fladislaviensi generali synodo 1583, confirmata et 
Seremsnmis Polonia regibus Augusta, Henrico^ et Stephana 
oblata, nunc catera commnni voto in publicum typis edita amino 
1586. 12mo." 2d edition at Thorn, 1592, with a Polish translation 
hj S* T. Tumowski. — 3d edition at Thorn, with the addition of 
the enactments of the synod, which was held in that place in 
1595.— -The 4th edition of this consensus is added to the History 
of the Bohemian and Morayian churches^ by Camerarius 
Heydelbefg, in 1605«*-5th edition, with a Polish translation, 
published at Baranow, in 1628.— 6th edition, at Frankfort on 
the Oder, in 1704, with a German translation. It has been 
besides printed in several ecclesiastical works, and the learned 
D. £• Jafolonski published in Latin a history of that celebrated 
transaction. A diary of that synod, written in Polish by Sy* 
mon Theophilus Tumowski, then diaoonos, and afterwardi 
senior, of the Bohemian Brethren in Grand Poland, was re- 
printed in the History of the Churches of the Bohemian 
Brethren in Grand Poland, by Joseph Lukaszewicz, at Pos- 
nania, in 1^5 — a work full of deep research and most va- 
luable information. 


longing to the Bohemian as well as the Lu- 
theran church; as, for instance, Lucas Gorka, 
palatine of Posnania ; John Tomicki, castellan of 
Gnezno; George Israel, Laurentius, Erasmus, 
and Nicolaus Gliczners, &c. &c. The Helve- 
tian churches of Little Poland did not send 
any special deputies, partly because they consi- 
dered the Bohemian Brethren as forming part 
of their body, partly because they had there the 
ministers of their own churches in Cujavia, This 
synod removed many doubts which had been left 
by that of Sandomir, and adopted the following 
resolutions, comprehended in twenty articles : 

The consensus of Sandomir was confirmed. 
The ministers of both confessions were to admi- 
nister the sacraments, to preach, and to perf< 
divine service according to the rites and customs 
of their respective churches, by which nobody 
ought to be offended. Wherever there was a 
minister established, the patron of that place 
was not to call in the minister of another 
congregation without the consent of the local 
one. The Lord's Supper was to be understood 
in the same manner as it had been expressed 
by the synod of Sandomir respecting the article 
of the Saxon confession sent to the council of 
Trent in 1551 ; and all expressions, words, and 
explanations differing from that confession were 
to be avoided. The ministers of one confession 
were not, under any pretence whatever, to draw 


the members of another confession to their own. 
The elders of both the churches were to promote 
by all their means the union and the interest 
of those churches, and to hold for that purpose 
synods once a year, and more when it shall be 
necessary. Every dispute between the ministers 
of the two confessions, or members of their 
respective congregations, respecting changes to 
be introduced into the doctrine, rites, discipline, 
&c. of one of their churches, were to be avoided, 
and such things were to be left exclusively to 
the ministers of that church to which they be- 
longed. All sins prohibited by the word of 
God were to be reprehended by sermons as well 
as by the pastoral superintendence of the preach- 
ers of that word ; such sins as were con- 
sidered idolatry, homicide, greediness, usury, 
discord, quarrels, maledictions, drunkenness, 
revels, dancing, gambling, immodest dresses, 
and all carnal evil passions and crimes which 
are mentioned by the prophets, the apostles, and 
the Saviour himself. The synod approved of and 
thought it indispensable that a discipline and 
ecclesiastical penalty, conformable to the word 
of God, should be inflicted on all the trespassing 
ministers and all the members of the church of 
God, without any regard to persons, and that 
it should be done not only in words but in deeds, 
according to the ordinance of our Lord Jesus 
Christ and the example of the apostles. It was 



permitted that the ministers and the members 
of one congregation should, whenever it was 
necessary, exhort the ministers and the members 
of the other congregation to repentance and 
godliness. Each pastor was to watch over his 
own flock, and to pay a real attention to the 
members of his congregation. 

The ministers of one confession were not to 
admit to the communion table the members of 
the other confession, without the testimony of the 
pastor to whose congregation they properly be- 
longed, except at the time of a diet, of a synod, 
and for strangers. Those who had been excluded 
from one congregation were not to be admitted 
to the communion in the other, before they were 
reconciled with the church to which they had 
given offence. The ministers who had. been 
deposed from their office, or excluded from one 
congregation, were not to be received, absolved, 
or reinstated in their office by the ministers of 
the other congregation, but were to be left to the 
judgment of their own church. The patrons of 
the churches were not to exact from the ministers 
any changes of rites and ceremonies without the 
consent of the superior ministers. All popish 
rites and ceremonies were by degrees, but absolu- 
tely, to be abolished ; such as, for instance, exor- 
cisms, images, relics of saints, superstitious use 
of candles, consecration of herbs, standards, 
golden and silver crosses, and similar other inven- 



tions, that the word of God might not suffer by it; 
and that they, the united Protestant churches, 
might not appear to hold communion with the 
Antichrist and approve of his abominations. If 
a dispute was to arise between the ministers of 
both the congregations, it was to be arranged by 
friendly means ; and should it prove impossible, it 
was to be referred to a general synod of all the 
Protestant Polish churches ! The union of the 
Protestant churches of Poland was indeed very 
necessary, in order to oppose a new and formi- 
dable enemy by whom they were finally ruined ; 
we mean the Jesuits, who were about this time 
introduced into Poland by Cardinal Hosius — an 
important event, of which we shall give an 
account in the next chapter. 

iVo^e.— We must not omit mentioning an attempt which was 
made by the Bcdiemian Brethren^ to spread their communion 
in Moscovy* The same year (1570) Sigismund Augustus sent 
an embassy to Ivan Vassilowich, Czar of Muscovy, and cele- 
brated for his tyranny, which was composed of four members ; 
two of whom, John Krokowski^ Palatine of Inowroclav^ and 
Raphael Leszczynski (whom we have oflen mentioned), be- 
longed to the Bohemian dmrch. They took with them as their 
chaplain John Rokita^ minister of that church, who was 
charged by the seniors of his church to endeavour to convert 
the Czar of Muscovy, as well as his subjects. Rokita suc- 
ceeded in obtaining an audience from the Czar, and being 
seated on an elevated place covered with rich tapestry, had a 
public disputation with that monarch* The Czar addressed to 
him several questions about his religious doctrines, which Ro- 




The Roman Catholic party having exhausted 
all the means they could dispose of in the coun- 
try against the Protestants, and seeing their 
utter inability of longer maintaining their grounds 
against the rapid progress of the Reformation, 
the ultimate triumph of which in Poland seemed 
to he now quite certain, sought and found assis- 
tance from abroad. Cardinal Hosius, the leader 
of that party, considered with great justice, as the 
only chance of saving Romanism from its im- 
pending destruction in Poland, to call in the 

kita answered. His success was however limited to that au- 
dience ; and when the embassy was leaving Moscow^ Rokita 
received from the Czar a Slavonian book richly bounds and his 
observations on Rokita's answers to his questions 


newly-established order of the Jesuits, who 
obeyed that call with alacrity, and hastened to 
the rescue of their church, reduced already to the 
very brink of ruin. Their efforts were crowned 
with a success, glorious to Rome, deplorable to 
Poland. But before we enter into a description 
of the establishment of that celebrated order in 
this country, we must say a few words concern- 
ing that remarkable individual who was chiefly 
instrumental in bringing about that important 
Sketch of Ho- Stauislav Hosen (latinised Hosius) was born 
charac?^.''"'^ in 1504, at Cracow, from a German family, which 

had acquired considerable wealth by trade. He 
was educated partly at Vilna and partly at 
Cracow, but he completed his studies at Padua, 
where he contracted an intimate friendship with 
Reginald de la Pole (cardinal Polus) ; from 
Padua he went to Bologna, where he took 
a degree of doctor of law under Buoncompagno, 
afterwards Pope Gregory the Thirteenth. Having 
returned to his country, he was recommended by 
the bishop of Cracow, Tomicki, to queen Bona, 
who took him under her patronage and ensured 
his rapid preferment. The king entrusted him 
with the affairs of Prussia, and nominated him 
canon of Cracow. He early made himself con- 
spicious by his animosity against the Protestants; 
however, in the beginning he did not attack 
them himself, but only instigated other preachers 


to declaim from the pulpit against their reli- 
gious innovations, imitating, as his biographer 
(Rescius) says, "the prudence of the serpent." He 
was created bishop of Culm, and intrusted with 
important embassies to the emperor Charles the 
Fifth and to Ferdinand king of the Romans, in 
the course of which he visited Vienna, Brussels, 
and Ghent, discharging the duties of his function 
in a most creditable manner. Being nominated 
bishop of Warmia, by which he became the chief 
of the church of Polish Prussia, and acquired 
a great influence in that province, he strove in 
vain to oppose the progress of Lutheranism, 
which, in spite of all his efforts, rapidly spread 
over that province, and became the persuasion 
of the majority of its inhabitants. No Roman 
Catholic prelate had ever combated with more 
zeal than Hosius the progress of the Reformation, 
and he advocated the most violent measures for 
its suppression. He carefully studied the po- 
lemical works written by the authors belonging 
to one Protestant confession against the foUow- 
,ers of another, and he skilfully took advantage 
of the arguments by which some of these writers 
were infatuated enough to recommend the ap- 
plication of penal laws against those who 
erred in religious matters. He did not scruple 
repeatedly to advise that faith should not be 
kept with heretics, and that it was necessary to 
confute them not by arguments but by the 

VOL. I. 2d 


aathority of the magistrates.^ He himself made 
a full confession of his principles on thai subject 
in a letter which he addressed to the notorious 
cardinal of Lotaryngia (Guise)^ congratulating 
him on the murder of Goligny, the news of 
which filled, as he says himself, his soul with an 
incredible joy and comfort, and he thanked at 
the same time the Almighty for the great boon 
conferred on France by the slaughter of St. 
Bartholomew, imploring him that he might show 
equal mercy to Poland.f 

Yet this prelate, who entertained such abomi- 
nable doctrines, was in every other respect 
adorned with the highest qualities that honour 

* ^* Nulla cum eis ineaiur dUputatio, ted timul cum eos 
(hereticos) tales esse constitit, statim condemnefdur^ eos nmi 
stylo sed sceptro magistratum coercendos esse.* Hosii operas 
page 620. 

f *' Cum illusttissimus Cardinalis Senonensis, pro sua in me 
benevokntia et kumanitate singulari, misso ad me nuncio me 
certiorem reddisset^ extindam esse iamen gravissimam illam 
Galliarum pestem, per quam totis jam decern et amplius annis 
innumerabilibus cladibus regnum illud affectum et in summas cala^ 
mitates adductum Juerat, Coligneum dice, quo uno haud scio, an 
unquam teUus produxerit hominem pestilentiorem ; Ua sum quasi 
e gravi somno quodam expergffactus et ex tenebris in lucem quo- 
dam modo productus, ut incredibilem quondam animi recreaiionem 
sentirem, prope modum, ut abster^us dolor animi, quo confeC' 
tus Jam fere fueram, videretur : neque me tenere potui ; quin 
exclamarem : Justus es Domine, et rectum est judicium tuum. 
Quod enim potuit esse magis justum judicium ? Qucb major 
esse justitia, quam ut quod aliis fecerat seder atus ille, vicissim 



mankind; and although the eulogy of Bayle, who 
calls him the greatest man that Poland ever 
produced^ is certainly overrated, there is but one 
opinion about his eminent talents, pifety, and 
virtues. His faults were therefore not his own, 
but only the unavoidable consequence of the 
precepts of his church, which he zealously but 
conscientiously followed. His fervour for that 
church Was such, that he declared in one of his 
polemical works that the Scriptures, if it were not 
for the authority of the same church, would have 
no more weight than the fables of Esop.* He 
was nominated cardinal by Pope Pius the Fourth 

illud ah alio patereiur. Quam cuperem ut hoc ante decern annos 
illi cotttigisset, priusquatn adeo crudelef acinus illud perpeirasset* 
Verum Dei misericordia tempus prascribendum non esly quin 
potius infinitae iUi gratias dgere debemus, quod eo tempore, quod 
illi maxhne visum est opportununky et a ianta peste palriam tuam 
Hberatam et indigntimf acinus infratrem tuum designatum, tandem 
aliquimdoj quamvis leviore quam quod mervtus erat, siccarius ille, 
suppHcio voluerit viridicatum, Quem ego pracor ut gaudium hoc 
tuum, in dies majore Ueiitia constare voluerit ut Uetis naois quoti- 
die succedant ketiora, Simul et illud supplex ab eo petere non 
intermiito quo meam quoque patriam misericordia sucB ocuUs 
respiciat, et ex nam regis ele^tione, qui sit di^na ejus majestati 
gratus et fortis Catholica Jidei defensor aliquod me consolationis 
capere faciat, nulla mora longiore interposita" Vide Hosii 
fipis. Carolo Cardinali Lotbaringo^ gratulatur extinctem esse 
hostem acerrimum evangelii Coiigneum. Sublaci 4ta Septem- 
biis 1572. HoGlH opera Colonis, 16S9-— 11, 340. 

♦ Vide Bayle, article Hosius. 

2 D 2 


in 1561, and appointed president of the council 
of Trent, and he acquitted himself of this com- 
mission to the greatest satisfaction of the Pope. 
Having been created grand penitentiary of the 
church, he spent the last years of his life at 
Rome, where he died in 1579, in the 76th year of 
his age.* 
His political Hosius was a no less consistent Romanist in 

politics than he was in religion. He maintained 
that the subjects had no rights whatever, but 
that they owed a blind submission to the so- 


• The principal works of Hosius are : '^ Confessio CatholiciB 
Fidei Christiana, vel patius explicatio confessionis, apatribus 
JactOf qtus in synodo provinciali qtuB habita est PetricoviiB ' 
anno 1551. Moguntise 1557, vide note of page 172. Resdus, 
his biographer, says that it was published in different 
languages during the author's life time thirty-two times : — *' De 
expresso verbo Dei,** Dillingen, in 1551 ; the same in English : 
*' Of the Expresse wordes of God : a shorte but a most excel* 
lente treatyse, and very necessary for this t3nn(ie." Newly 
translated into English, Lovan, by John Bogard in 1567.— 
" Propugnatio Christiams CatholioBque doctrina" Antw. 1559w 
— '^ Canfutatio prolegomenon Brentii/* Paris, 1560. The same 
in English. ** A most excellent treatyse of the Begynnyng of 
Heresyes in oure tyme. Translated out of Latin into English 
by Richard Shacklock. Antw. 1565.'* — '< De communione sub 
utraque specie" — *' De sacerdotum conjugio*"^^*' De missa vulm 
gari lingua celebranda." The best edition of his works is 
considered that of Cologne, in 1584, which contains also his 
letters, written to many eminent persons of his time. His 
life, written by Rescius (Reszka), was published at Rome 
in 1587. 


vereign, who was responsible to none for his acts, 
and that it was a sin to judge him.^ Like all 
other Romanist writers, he ascribed the political 
innovations to the doctrines of the Reformation, 
and expressly stated that it was the reading of 
the Scriptures which rendered people seditious, 
and he particularly inveighed against those 
women who read the Bible-f 

Yet although he strongly advocated uncon- 
ditional submission to the will of the sovereign, 
he departed himself from that principle when- 
ever it became contrary to the interests of 
Rome. Thus although the reformed church 
of Gracow was erected in consequence of an 
express authorization of the monarch, he en- 
deavoured to excite Krasinski, bishop of Cracow, 
to use every means for overturning that estab- 
lishment ; and we shall have many opportunities 
of bringing forward several instances of his utter 
disregard of every principle whenever the in- 
terests of the Roman church were concerned. 
His deep learning, which made him universally 

* *' Obedientiam ccecam esse debere^ustUia est ui prcecepta 
majoruni non discutiantur. Prima sedis a nemine Judialur^ 
Principem subjectarum Judicio permiitere peccatum esse" Apud 
Rescius^ Vita Hosii, Romae^ 1578. 

f '^ Rude vulgus etiam et indiscretum intolerabili qtuedam 
superbtay manibus et pedibus illotis, impudenter ad sacrarum 
lilterarum accedere, qmn et stuUas hoc mulierculas sibi arro* 
gave videmus" Hosii opera^ pag^ 640. 


considered as one of the first luminaries of the 
Roman church, could not however free his mind 
from the unchristian notions inculcated by the 
same church, that voluntary self-tonnent is ac- 
ceptable to the Father of all mercy ; and being 
a rigid observer of those practices which are 
more in accordance with pagan rites than the 
mild precepts of Christianity, and which that 
church recommends, he frequently lacerated his 
own body by severe flagellations, spilling his own 
blood with the same fervour as he would liave 
spilled that of the opponents of the Pope.^ 

Such was the celebrated individual who, seeing 
that all his efforts at combating the progress of 
the Reformation in Poland were fruitless, adopt- 
ed a measure for which he deserved the eternal 
gratitude of Rome, and the curses of Poku^« H^ 
called to his assistance th^ newly established 
order of Jesuits, which, by its admirable organiza- 
tion, zeal, and activity, but chiefly perhaps by that 
reckless disregard of every principle which stood 
in its way to the attainment of its object, suc- 
ceeded in saving Romanism from impending ruin 
over all Europe, and even in restoring its sway in 
many places where it had already been annihilated. 
Introduction of The ordcr despatched, as early as in 1558, one 
Poland. ' **" of their members, named Cantsius,to Poland, with 
f\/ the object of examining the state of the country. 

* Vide Rescius. 


Canisius reported that it was deeply infected 
with heresy, ascribing that state of things chiefly to 
the aversion of the king to repress Protestantisin 
by sanguinary measures.* Canisius had many 
conferences with the heads of the Roman clergy 
m Poland, with the view of establishing his order 
in that country ; but he returned without obtain- 
ing any positive result from his mission. It was 
only in 1564 that Hosius, perceiving on his return 
from Trent the increase of Protestantism in his 
own diocese, addressed himself to the celebrated 
general of the Jesuits, Lainez, with the request 
of sending him some members of his order. Lai- 
nez immediately complied with that request, and 
despatched several Jesuits from Rome, command- 
ing at l^e same time a few others from Germany 
to join them. Hosius located these welcome 
guests at Braunsberg, a little town situated in his 
diocese, and richly endowed the nascent esta- 
blishmenty which was soon to spread over all 
Poland. An attempt was made in 1567 to intro- 
duce the Jesuits into Elbing ; but the Protestant 
inhabitants of that town manifested such a violent 
opposition against the admission of an order 

* '' Canstans erat opinio indulgentiatn Regis obesse quam 
plurimum, De severe impiis puniendisy scalpeloque coercendi 
peste sermonem respuebat omnem. Ea impunitate nequissimi 
homines ahutebantur. ** Vide Historia Societatis Jesu. Ant. 
Sachino; part ii. page 61; 


which arrived with the avowed determination of 
exterminating heresy, that Hosius, who deplored 
the infatuation of Elbing, which, as he maintained, 
rejected its own salvation, was obliged to desist 
from his project. During the reign of Sigismund 
Augustus, who seems not to have been favourably 
disposed towards the Jesuits, they did not make 
any rapid progress, and it was only six years after 
their arrival in Poland that Konarski, bishop of 
Posnania, induced by Plotina, papal nuncio in 
Poland, established them in the above-mentioned 
town; and having persuaded the authorities of 
the city to give them the church of St. Stanislav, 
with two hospitals and a school, endowed them 
at the same time with an estate, and made them 
a present of his library. They insinuated them- 
selves into the favour of the princess Anna, sister 
of Sigismund Augustus, who promoted their inte- 
rests with all her influence, and it was probably 
she who induced her husband, king Stephen 
Battory, to patronise that order. The primate 
Uchanski, whom we have seen strongly inclined 
towards the doctrines of the Reformation, en- 
deavoured, when the prospects of their speedy 
establishment in Poland were marred by the 
demise of Sigismund Augustus, to obliterate the 
suspicions of Rome by the display of a great zeal 
for its interests, and he became the great patron of 
the new order. His example was followed by 
many bishops, who relied for the defence of their 


dioceses more on the intrigues of their new allies, 
than on the efforts of the local clergy. The 
rapid increase of the number and influence of the 
Jesuits belongs to the epoch which is the subject 
of the second volume of our work, and which is 
only a continued picture of the unceasing in- 
trigues and agitation by which that order suc- 
ceeded in crushing the anti-Romanist party in 
Poland, sacrificing the national prosperity and 
the most vital interests of the country to the res- 
toration of papal supremacy, and we shall have 
indeed but too many opportunities of recurring 
to that melancholy but instructive subject. 

Sigismund Augustus died on the 7th July 1572, Death of si. 
at Knyszyn, a little town on the frontiers of Po- fusTu"" an/' 
land and Lithuania, and which was a favourite character.^** 
retreat of his. His demise without issue esta- 
blished in Poland practically the election of the 
monarch, which already existed in its constitution, 
but which was constantly made in favour of the 
natural heir of the deceased sovereign, as long as 
the Jaguellonian line continued uninterrupted. 
Sigismund Augustus was endowed by nature 
with many excellent qualities, which could not be 
stifled even by the effeminate education which 
his mother Bona Sforza gave him, as it seems, for 
the purpose of converting him into a tool for her 
schemes. His studies were, however, not neglect- 
ed, and he was a good mathematician, a profi- 
cient Latin scholar, and was perfectly master of 


the German and Italian langftages^ He was also a 
great patron of national literatnre and of learned 
men, many of whom he attached to his person. 
He was of a yory kind and amiable disposition, 
and strongly opposed, by principle as well as by 
character, to every despotic and cruel meascore. 
His chief fiaiult was a great irresohition of cha-^ 
racter, and want of decisicm, whieb exercised on 
several occasionB a prejudicial influence on the 
affairs of the country. This indolence, which he 
manifested on some, political transactions of great 
importance, did not, however, extend to the 
private aifiiirs of his subjects, to which he always 
attended with an unwearied diligence. He was 
very unfortunate in- his domestic relations ;^ and 
as these relations were on the point of exercising 
a decisive influence on the religious afiairs of 
Poland, we must not pass them over in silence. 

Sigismund Augustus, who was bom in 1520, mar- 
ried for the first time Eli^sabeth of Austria (daugh- 
ter of Ferdinand, king* (rf: Hungary and: afterwards 
emperor, and niece to: €>harle8 the Fifth). She 
was a beautiful, virtuo«0,.andi accomplished- prin- 
cess; }mtj in spite di^^dbisse advantages, she did 
not secure the atteUshinent of I^r husband, and- 
her mother^in><laviv qu€fen Bona Sforza, hated hep 
with. such a violence, that the death of this unfor- 
tunate princess;^ which, happened in 1545> excited 
a strong suspicion of being caused by poison 
administer^- tocher at>the instigation of the same 


Bona. We have already described bis second 
marrmge with Barbara Radziwill^ and the oppo- 
sition which it raised in the country. Barbara 
died in 1S5K ^n^d ^ general suspicion was raised 
that queen Bona was again instrumental in the 
death of her second daughtep-in-law. The king 
deeply regretted his much-beloved consort^ and 
preserved a fond rememWance of her d uring the 
remainder of his life. His^ mother induced him 
to marry, for the third time, Catherine of Austria, 
dowager duchess of Mantua, and sister to his 
first queai. This was a most unfortunate alliance, 
as the new que^i, who was^f a pktin^xterior, and 
moreover afflicted with epilepsy, soon inspired an 
unsurmountable aversion in her royal husband, 
who lived entirely separated from hen It is 
indeed quite unaccountable what motives could 
have induced Bona to promote the conclusion of 
that preposterous marriage, for which it was neces- 
sary even to obtain a dispensation from the Pope, 
as the parties were related through the king's first 
marriage. Be it as it may, this circumstance 
was not only prejudicial to the happiness of the 
monarch himself, but also to the interests of the 
country, as the king dying without issue, the 
realm was threatened with troubles resulting 
from the contest of parties in the election of a 
new sovereign. The leaders of ^ the Protestante 
thought that, by inducing Sigismund Augustus to 
repudiate his consort, they would obviate that 


danger, and moreover, accelerate a breach be- 
tween him and the court of Rome, which being 
devoted to the Austrian interests, would take 
the part of a princess belonging to that house. 
Ostrorog, whom we have frequently mentioned 
as one of the most prominent leaders of the Pro- 
testant party, proposed to the senate of Poland, 
that as it was a very important consideration for 

ie welfare of the country that the monarch 
should not die without issue, he ought to be 
requested to restore the queen to her rights, in 
order to give the nation a hope for the continua- 
tion of the royal lineage, and to prevent the 
scandal resulting from the dissensions of the royal 

Ostrorog's motion was approved by the senate, 
and the primate Uchanski, who presided over it, 
made on the following day an official report of this 
proceeding to the monarch. He answered that 
he was prevented from living with the queen by 
his doubts about the legitimacy of a connexion 
with the sister of his first wife. 

Uchanski assembled the bishops, and having 
communicated to them the scruples of the monarch 
maintained the justice of a divorce. This was 
zealously opposed by the papal legate Commen- 
doni, who, after having produced many arguments 
in order to prove that the papal dispensation had 
removed all legal impediments to the marriage of 
Sigismund Augustus with his sister-in-law, spoke 


at a great length of the misfortunes of England, 
which he had witnessed himself, and which he 
ascribed to the divorce of Henry the Eighth, and 
accused the bishops of that country, but particu- 
larly the archbishop (Cranmer), of having in- 
duced the king to make that step.* Commendoni 
succeeded in persuading the bishops to adopt his 
views on that question. The king having or- 
dered him to his presence, represented to him his 
unfortunate situation, entreating him, even with 
tears, to assist him in obtaining from the Pope a 
divorce ; but Commendoni succeeded in persuad- 
ing him to desist from his project, particularly by 
representing to him the dangers which might 
accrue to his kingdom if the emperor, irritated by 
the repudiation of his daughter, should excite and 
assist Muscovy, as well as the other enemies of 

We have extracted these details from Com- 
mendoni's life by Gratiani, which, being in 
accordance with the irresolute character of Si- 
gismund Augustus, seem to be not without foun- 

* Commendoni visited England inmiediately after the 
accession of queen Mary, being delegated secretly, by the 
orders of the Pope, to examine^into the state of affairs in this 
country and to promote the interests of Rome. It is 
needless to add, that by the misfortunes of England he 
meant the spread and establishment of Protestantism. 


dation. Yet, in spite of that irresolute character, 
we can scarcely doubt that if Sigismund's life 
had been spared for some years longer^ he would 
have finally established the doctrines of the Re- 
formation as the religion of the country. His 
own mind was evidently unsettled respecting the 
principal dogmas held by the difierent Protestant 
churches, but it seems that those of the Hel- 
vetian church, followed by the greatest part of 
the influential nobility^ would have prevailed 
The king's great object appears to have been to 
effect the Reformation of the Polish church 
through its own instrumentality, by which many 
dangers, troubles, and collisions would have been 
avoided, and a national ecclesiastical establish- 
ment similar to that of England established^ 
instead of the Romanist one. This plan, strongly 
advocated by John Laski, was supported by 
many eminent persons in the country, and Si- 
gismund Augustus strenuously promoted it by 
nominating to episcopal dignities persons known 
for their bias to the doctrines of the Reformation. 
Such were, for instance, Drohojowski, bishop of 
Vladislav, Krasinski, bishop of Cracow, and 
Uchanski^ archbishop of Gnezno and primate 
of the realm. We repeat, therefore, our convic- 
tion, that had the life of Sigismund Augustus 
been spared for a longer time, the reformation 
of the Polish cburcb would have been effected 




without any commotion, as all the bishoprics, or 
at least a great majority of them, would have 
been intrusted to Protestants. 


DEC 30 1921 

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